Remember when you started uni, and the advice was to get everything out in the first year because by the time year two rolls around, university gets a hell of a lot harder. But even by the end of year two, it doesn’t seem to prepare you for the amount of hard work that goes into your final year of Uni. So here are 10 tips to help you survive your final year of Uni.
1. Think about you dissertation
When I started my third year, there was a girl on my course who had almost finished her dissertation by the time the first lecture on it began. She did have to change bits and pieces obviously, but the fact is that I hadn’t even taken the time to think of a dissertation topic, let alone started writing it. This girl got a serious head start by thinking up an idea for her dissertation months in advance. Now, by all means, don’t start writing it unless you’ve got absolutely nothing to do over summer and you’re up for it, but a one great tip for your final year of Uni is to at least think about what your dissertation will be.
2. Do your reading!
When your professors tell you to read over the summer, do it. It might be the most beneficial thing you do. Even if it’s just two books, even if it’s just one related to your dissertation it might be the best to get some reading in when you can. A bit of background knowledge on your dissertation topic really will go along way. You’ll be able to talk to your professor about you ideas in more depth, you’ll have more ideas about what else to read and what to research – honestly getting some reading in over the summer is one of the best tips for surviving your third year uni.
3. Use your extra days of to your advantage
Don’t take this is more time to write or research. I used my extra days to go to museums, or art galleries or places that were related to my dissertation topic. I also just spent some of my extra days of taking some time for myself. It’s really important to do things for yourself when you get the chance. Otherwise all the work that you’re constantly doing, will cause an enormous about of stress. So go out and do what you like, get some shopping in, watch some Netflix, and use those extra days to your advantage.
As mentioned above, one of the worst things you can do in your final year is stress. I know it’s going to be hard to keep calm (and carry on) all the time, but stress will act as a hindrance to you. So just relax, get a face mask, take a long bath, make a nice cup of tea or just take a few minutes breathe. It will be one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself in your final year because things will get tough and you’ll be wishing you’d relaxed more by the end of it.
5. Don’t forget you friends
Remember that your besties are going through the exact same thing that you are and this can be really helpful in your final year. They’ll be there to talk you through things, go to dinner with or just sit and watch a good movie with when things are starting to get tough. They’ll be there for you at the toughest times, so do take the time to hang out with your friends. And don’t forget that they might need advice for you as well. This tip for your final year of Uni goes both ways.
6. Go to your lectures, seminars and tutorials!
I cannot stress this enough! I know you’ll be tired and stressed and sick but going to all your timetabled lessons will be the best thing you can do for yourself. You might think that sleep is the most important thing at eight thirty in the morning, but when eleven o’clock rolls around and you missed a key lecture you’ll be regretting the fact that you didn’t make yourself crawl out of bed when you should’ve. Now don’t get me wrong, sleep is important and if you’re puking up every two minutes then maybe give it a miss. But if you feel fine and get an early night, then the best tip here is to get up and go to those lectures, seminars and tutorials!
7. Ask for extra time
Like most things in life, if you don’t ask then you don’t get and in the case of uni this might be the difference between getting some much needed extra time and missing out on it. In mediating circumstances, lets say for example you’ve been very ill, or you had a family bereavement then you can ask for another week to help you catch up on the time that you’ve missed. They’re not going to give it to you if you’ve been partying or took a mid semester holiday, so don’t try and cheat the system, but if you genuinely think you need the extra time, then a great tip here is to ask for it. This is one of the best tips for your final year of Uni.
8. Don’t rely on just your laptop
Laptops are great, but they might not hold all the knowledge and facts that you need to write your dissertation. Take full advantage of your universities library because you’ll be surprised what topics it has amongst all the books in their. You’ll be able to find everything, even writings on the most obscure topics you can think of. Honestly, a university library is the best tool you can have when writing your dissertation, so tip number eight is to use and abuse all the books that it has in it.
9. Do not stick around campus on holidays
Your professors will tell you that Christmas Break, Easter Break and all the breaks in between are not “holidays” and that you should be working on them. Well take this with a pinch of salt. If I had three weeks off at Christmas, then I’d spend one week of it working and take the rest off. It’s even worse if you’re hanging around campus on what’s supposed to be your time off. This is your holiday time, and I can guarantee you, your uni professors are not hanging around campus during Christmas. So why should you? Go home and enjoy the holidays.
10. Don’t fret about what you can’t change
Don’t spend your time worrying about that one sentence that you didn’t change, or that one image that you didn’t caption right. All the hard work that you put in, in your final year will shine through so don’t spend your time panicking about the small things or the things that you can’t change. The fact is, the person marking your work probably won’t even notice and won’t mark you down for the teeny tiny things. You’ll be putting a lot of hard work into your final year, so be proud of what you produce and don’t sweat the small stuff.