I thought I’d create a different sort of post today since I am officially over a month into my final year of University. This is the year when work starts picking up in every possible way, and the dreaded search for jobs begins. I’m already noticing the difference in my tolerance to stress, how long I can work for before driving myself crazy with anxiety over whether I’m good enough to get my degree and make it in the real world.
I want to just emphasise first off how important it is to give yourself a break. You might remember these little breaks from studying for GCSEs, A Levels, or any other entry exams to make it into the University of your dreams. It was the classic teacher advice – don’t over exert yourself too much, but – oh yeah, these exams are going to impact the rest of your life, so no pressure. Seriously, so much help. Although this is true, remember you have plenty of time to make it work for yourself if you’re at this stage.
If you are like me, however, facing the final push until the end of your education, this is less straight forward. Obviously everyone works better in different ways, but personally I find it really beneficial to reward myself for large sections of work completion. For example, since I am currently writing my dissertation, I’ll set myself a reasonable amount of words to complete in the day time, and then I will go out with my friends in the evening to reward myself. Or get a type of food that I want. Food is always a fantastic motivator!
Another important piece of advice for any University student is to organise yourself. This is again, a predictable one, but one that does not get as much credit as it should. So many of my friends leave their work til the last possible minute, I know a guy who quite regularly goes out the night before a deadline and finishes his essay at 3am when he returns. I feel that although this may just about work for him, this is the bare minimum. He is not reaching his potential for University. When we were doing a presentation together, I forced him to be organised and prepared weeks in advance, and because of this he got a first in the assessment. Start early, give yourself a solid plan of how you are going to create your assessment over the number of weeks ahead, and I can assure you, you’ll do so much better than what you would have otherwise.
Despite this, remember that if you do follow this and still don’t do as well as you first expected, many people go on to do second degrees or completely change their career paths after University. If you do not succeed at first, it is not the end. You just have to find another way to reach your goals. There is always another option. And I think that is the most important thing to remember – all your failures will add up to make you stronger and better.