The struggle of the juggle. Lauren Waugh, Guest Blogger, University of Westminster

03/05/2017

As a final year student, the struggle is real. The balancing act of dissertation deadlines, exams and the real world becoming imminent can sometimes seem too much to cope with and sparing time to fill in countless job applications and assessments, only to be rejected, is disheartening and may feel like a waste of time.  It’s not though.

Ultimately, to have got to this point in your degree, you must have passion about your area of study and will want to apply this to the job you will one day be doing. After three years of relative freedom at university, no one wants to lose that. But this is about to change. If you’re struggling to motivate yourself through this time, here’s some food for thought;

1)  What are you passionate about?

Whether it’s writing the last essay of the year or applying for jobs, it’s important to make sure that you’re working on something you’re passionate about. Work is always better when you’re genuinely interested. Not every deadline can be your passion, but every job you apply for should be. Candidates who are genuinely excited about the role always shine through on paper and if you’re not enthusiastic about a job while filling in the application, you probably won’t be six months into the role.

2)  Yesterday has gone, but there’s still today

Don’t let unproductive days turn into unproductive weeks. It can be hard not to get stuck in a rut after a few days where you don’t feel like you’ve done your best, but everyday is a new start. The only way to rectify an unproductive day is to have more productive ones. So let yesterday go and focus on making the most of today and keep a to do list to help you stay productive.

3)  Set Goals

Whether these goals are around finishing a particular project or more long term and career focused, make sure you have something to work towards. Plan the steps to reach this goal and as you tick off small, manageable chunks, the end goal will feel more achievable. Make your first step something you can control such as updating your CV or going to the library to collect research books; that way, you’re already on a winning streak.

4)  Don’t be afraid to take a break

Have you ever read an essay back and had no clue what point you were trying to make? This probably occurred because you were tired. It may sometimes feel the only way to be productive is to use every second of your day, but you will actually be more productive if you’ve had sometime away. Spend your time doing something completely unrelated and that you enjoy. It should also be something you can time, so your breaks don’t end up becoming whole days. It might be doing a workout, watching an episode of your favourite show or meeting a friend for a coffee. Breaks are even better if you take them in a new environment and fresh air will help clear your head and keep you on track. Breaks are needed so don’t feel guilty.

Sometimes, these last few months at university can seem really difficult, but it is important to master the juggle and your hard work will pay off.