It seems crazy to think that my four years of university is over. If you didn’t see over on my Instagram a while back, I am graduating in November with a First Class Honours degree in Communication and Media! I honestly couldn’t be happier and I feel so proud of myself to have achieved it. Hard work truly paid off!
Final year of university is something that (presumably) every student has their reservations about. Everyone bigs it up to be one of the hardest and most stressful years of your life, but let me tell you it’s not stressful ALL of the time. Yes it’s a lot harder than your previous years and more importantly your grades count towards the majority of your final degree classification, but you will have some room to breathe. If you’re about to head into your final year, you can and you WILL do it, I promise you! But it’s definitely nice to have some reassurance. So, here are is my advice for surviving (and smashing!) your final year of university…
It might seem self explanatory and you might have done this in your previous years, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan ahead in final year. On my course, especially after Christmas, I had a heck of a lot of assignments all due in at once. So, it’s really important that you prioritise your time well and get to grips with when you will have time to work on each assignment.
Try to roughly figure out how long you might need to spend on certain assignments based on the amount of research and writing that needs doing. Having a plan in place will really help you to feel much more in control.
Start your assignments ASAP
Again, since you might be juggling quite a few assignments at once, it’s really important to start your assignments as soon as you can, even if you start it and come back to it in a few days time whilst you’re working on something else. Trust me, you will thank yourself later.
I did this when I had around four assignments due at once, where an essay got kinda got left to the last minute (for me anyway). But luckily, I had done quite a lot of research and planning prior to actually writing the essay. So when I started to panic that I was going to run out of time, boy did I count my lucky stars that I got ahead and already did the research! I still got a first in this essay so the effort early on truly does pay off!
Make the most of your tutorials
In final year you will probably have more tutorials with lecturers than ever before, partially because of your dissertation (if you are lucky enough to have to do one – lol). If you have a tutorial booked or lecturers are offering them and you’re feeling stuck, then go! I found out so much more by actually speaking to lecturers one on one and definitely got to grips with the kinds of stuff they like.
Coursework technique can sometimes be subjective depending on the lecturer, so getting some handy tips before starting your assignments is always great. Your final year is the last chance to make the most of your lecturers’ help and knowledge, so grab all the chances you can get!
Try working alone and with friends
Final year is a time when you will be spending A LOT of time doing independent study, which to be quite honest can get pretty lonely if you spend the entire time working away at your laptop at home or in the university library. I was a total ‘work from home’ girl until final year. When working on individual assignments and my dissertation, I needed a break from working alone and started to work in the university library with some course friends. This was a great way to help each other when we needed it, whilst staying motivated and somewhat upbeat at particularly stressful times.
Don’t get hung up over one bad grade
Sometimes it can be tough to fully get your mind focused again after receiving a disappointing grade. You just have to remember that you shouldn’t give up! These things happen. Sometimes we feel like we truly smashed a piece of work, but it just doesn’t work out that way. The best thing to do is to put it to the back of your mind and putting your all into the next one. One bad grade doesn’t mean you are going to do badly over and over – it might give you that extra surge of motivation for the next assignment.
Take time to relax & make the most of your last year
Your final year is going to seem really stressful at times, but it’s so important to take time out to relax. Whether that’s a couple of days off after you’ve handed in a huge assignment (if you don’t have another due in that is), a night out or hanging out with your course mates. You’ll also tell yourself that you won’t miss it but oh girl, you will! Handing in your dissertation is the best feeling ever, but being around your friends all the time and watching This Morning in bed like the true student that you are is something that’s hard to let go of. I’d do anything to go back and experience that lifestyle for just a little longer! I literally miss sitting in the library with my friends which sounds so strange, I never thought I would miss the small things like that.
Now to my final year students 2019/20 – go and bloody smash it!
Are you about to go into final year? How did you survive your final year at university?