This article contains information on How to Cope as a Final Year Student.
Being a final year student shows that you’ve been through various levels to get to your finals. Therefore you would want to crown your efforts so far in a unique way but like a rushing wind, various thoughts may begin to roll in such as;
How do I manage my time?
How do I study to hit my courses so hard in my finals?
How do I maintain my mental health when anxious or depressed? Will I land a good job when I finally graduate? etc
In this article, you’ll learn how to cope through your final year. Below are the steps you should take to enable you to scale through your final year.
STEPS TO COPE AS A FINAL YEAR STUDENT
1. Develop a routine
Having a routine gets you into good habits and lets you plan ahead. A routine helps you have a regular bedtime, a dinner time, maybe even a meal plan, a workout time and a wake-up time. You may find it as a strange zombie-like lifestyle but you’ll also find it a productive routine and a powerful one through the year.
2. Study early
Time waits for no man, therefore it rolls out quickly and you will always wish you had more time. While you can not add time on at the end, you can include it at the beginning. The earlier you begin to work, the better. Before the start of your last autumn term, read the books, research the essays or have a revision of last year’s work.
3. Have to-do lists
There is definitely going to be a lot to remember in your final year. Differentiating between essays and exam revision can get confusing and overwhelming. Enter the to-do list: your best friend in organisation and staying on top of everything that really, really needs to get done.
Checking off every little thing will give you a mental boost as you realise the pile of work is reducing bit by bit. You can also use a planner with built-in to-do-lists or make a bullet journal. On Sunday evening, set aside an hour or two to sit down and write out all the tasks you need to do that week, and any seminars or lectures. This will help you start the week feeling organised and ready.
4. Maintain your mental health
This can be done by getting yourself out of the ditch of depression or perhaps worse, disordered eating. If this is nearly impossible to maintain on your own then you will have to speak to people, be it your family or your friends or a stranger willing to listen and counsel you.
Probably, your university counselling service is oversubscribed, then try calling a friend whenever you feel not fit. If you feel you have nobody to confide in, no problem; there are plenty of third-party support services out there. Organisations like Samaritans and Nightline are there for people like you, and your GP will know the best ways to combat your illness.
Do not let yourself be isolated. Try to force yourself outdoors, or if it is your mate in trouble, insist on being with them. Leaving someone on their own during a bad episode of depression is not only foolish but actively dangerous. Engaging in music, craft or sports activities or anything really will give you reasons to get out in the morning. Medication is not always the best route to ‘better’, but it can certainly help.
If you are walking around town, look up. Check out the buildings, the sky, the greenery around you – whatever. It will get you out of your own deep thoughts, and help you realise that there is more to life than job applications, getting all As in your final year courses, thinking about life after college or university.
Also, remember to keep things in view. Leaving university is a vulnerable time, whether you have something to do or not. The movement from clear deadlines and organised fun to surviving in the real world is difficult for everyone.
5. Work hard
Ok, maybe ‘harder’ is an exaggeration, but this is your last year at uni. Enjoy nights out as they come up and let off some steam. Do not think you can not have fun, just because you need to finish off an essay. Everyone is allowed a night off, so man up and do it on a hangover. If you are going out less overall, you will find out that you really appreciate that much-needed dance to September when it finally arrives.
6. Use library resources
Make use of your school’s library. It completely opens your eyes and you will wish you’d known all the information early enough; there are particular ways to optimise your search results in search engines and academic databases, and there is such a thing as an interlibrary loan if your university has not got something you need. Make great use of this because original research often bridges the gap between grade boundaries.
7. Stay healthy
If ever there was a time to be operating at 100%, it’s your final year. Eat a quality diet, exercise often, get your important eight hours sleep at night and take supplements such as multivitamins.
Disorganised sleep patterns seem to be a basic part of university life but it is a really good idea to sort yours out before final year. It can be tempting to work through the night, high on Pro-Plus and jittery from sugar. This might be understandable the night before your dissertation is due, however, don’t let this be a regular occurrence or the quality of your work will drop drastically. If you can not sleep for some reason, try some relaxing meditation, sniff some lavender oil and put your devices away.
Do not be afraid to spend some time socialising in order to make you feel like you and get in your free zone again; if partying is a part of who you are, a night out every now and then is completely allowed but just remember that this often wipes off revision for the following day.
9. Do not compare yourself to others
Some people are working harder than they let on and others are doing much less work than they say. Either way, it doesn’t matter because everybody works differently and everybody has slightly different workloads. Just remember, using someone else’s progress to make you feel better about your own is totally unproductive.
10. Keep everything in view
Final year can feel like the be-all and end-all. Everyone wants to do their best, but it is also essential that you do not lose sight of what is actually crucial. Enjoy your last few months in the university, enjoy your research projects, enjoy living with friends, for these are all precious things you should savour while you can before you leave forever.
11. Have a future plan
Give yourself something to look forward to after exams. At times when the sun is shining and your will is swaving, it can help tremendously to have plans for after this horribly-shocking but finite period of your life. These plans could also be a job – knowing your degree will directly lead you somewhere as a very motivating feeling.