Remember the days when stress didn’t exist? When the workload was a mere essay and a bit of reading for a seminar? If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably looking back at 1st year wondering where the time has gone.
But that’s all finished now; you’re in your final year and it’s not easy. As I’ve been through the same journey as you, I can probably relate to most of the anxiety, stress and general panic you’re likely going through. People have said to me, “it’s a lot of work, but you just have to get on with it – that’s life.” Well, yes, it’s life, but what has that got to do with anything? It certainly doesn’t stop it being hard!
Obviously, the problems you face in final year will differ depending on which course you’re studying. Some will be bogged down with research, revision and exams, and others will be facing coursework and final projects.
The difficulty with final year is trying to organise yourself and keep on track with everything. If your course is anything like mine, then you’re probably doing three (or more?) modules at the same time – one of which being your final project/ dissertation – and still trying to fit in a part-time job on evenings and weekends to ensure you have an income to eat… and breathe!
It’s an enormous task, and anyone not doing the same thing is in no position to tell you that it’s easy. It’s not easy. If you’re beginning to struggle with workload, then you need to sit and figure things out.
Using myself as an example, I graduated in Journalism and Media and remember trying to write an essay for one module, plan, film & edit videos for another module, do research and proposals for my final project and then extra bits of work for my Add+Vantage module. On top of all of that, I had a part-time job!
So, how did I stop it from overwhelming me and subsequently preventing me from all the deadlines?
Organisation and planning. Like any other 3rd/final year student, I got a bit stressed from time to time, but I found ways to fit everything in and still have time for myself. It may sound sad, but on Sunday nights I set reminders on my phone for the week, then looked at the work I needed to do and figured out when I’m going to do it.
As the week went on, priorities sometimes changed, but it was just a case of swapping things around. Given the nature of my course, filming wasn’t always possible on the day I wanted to do it, so rather than spending the time that I would have spent filming, I’d do my essay instead, and when I’d planned to do my essay, I’d do my filming.
Final year is all about using your time responsibly! Yes, it’s that dreaded thing that everyone hates. But I can assure you that if you plan properly, you will still have your evenings (or at least most of them) to chill and do whatever you want to do.
If you’re getting a bit stressed, then use some of these student stress-busting tips to calm yourself down. As much as you might think it is, final year isn’t about overloading you with new knowledge. It’s about applying the knowledge you’ve acquired in the previous uni years and getting you ready for your professional future in whatever field you want to work in. If you know exactly what you want to do, then you’ve already fought half the battle – and won. As Dory from Finding Nemo sings: “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”…
… Not that I’m a fan, or anything.
*Clears throat*. Anyway, we need to make sure that we keep on top of our workloads, plan everything, stay organised with a calendar and reminders, and make time for ourselves! Stick to this, and in what feels like fifteen minutes, the whole year will be over!