Well done! You've made it to the final year. A crucially important year as you approach finals, career choices, job applicatons and the end of an amazing experience.
You've been through hard work and the learning curve of living away from home, cooking and looking after yourself. You've gained knowledge and skills. And now you’re approaching the last year of freedom before you are launched into the world of work.
You’ll want to make the most of it. And here’s how.
1 Plan and prepare… when you know the deadlines for final essays, dissertations or exams, prepare your timetable for working towards them early on in the year. Allow a bit of extra time here and there in case of unexpected events or illness – if you don’t need the extra time, great, but plan it in just in case. Stick to your progress deadlines and if you have additional contact time with your tutors use the time wisely and ask for help, advice and feedback– they’re there to help you!
2 Do an internship or get some work experience in one of the shorter holidays – the time spent in the working environment is priceless when it comes to writing your CV and job applications. It gives you a break from your studies so you can return refreshed, motivated and closer to your career goals.
3 Start your job applications early – by early we mean during the summer before your last year if you possibly can – get your CV up to scratch, build fantastic online profiles (see our guide) and contact the companies you’re interested in working for. The early bird catches the worm and it’ll be a great feeling to have landed a job before you graduate.
4 If you’re planning on going onto post-grad study, find out where you’re best suited and make your enquiries and applications early. It will take the pressure off those final few weeks if you know what you’re doing next.
5 Eat properly and drink sensibly – don’t spend your last year drinking and dancing the nights away. By all means have some nights out – but pace yourself. You need a healthy body to get the most out of your mind and your final year is a time to look after yourself – get enough sleep, eat regular healthy meals and spend your spare time on yourself. Don’t race around trying to fit everything in and then rush to finish an assignment in the last hour before it’s due. Make your study and spare time count. Turn off your social media and your phone. Focus on the job in hand and you’ll produce better work as a result. By all means check it when you break for lunch, but fewer distractions will ensure your work is of a better quality.
Enjoy your last days as a student – hopefully you’ll have had the most personally fulfilling time of your life and made the most of all the opportunities; meeting new friends and becoming independent – all great things to take with you on the next part of your journey.