The third and final year of university is incredibly daunting. It feels like the workload has tripled, and the work itself is harder. It’s not an easy ride, and you definitely have to work hard to earn your degree, but if you manage your time properly, you’ll cope much better. Here are my tips on how to survive third year:
Go to the gym. I know that might sound like the worst advice you’ve ever been given, but the gym has been the only thing (besides my partner) getting me through this year. The second I step into the gym, I switch off. I stop thinking about work, uni, home life, and just stress in general. I don’t even really mean to, it just happens naturally. It give me time to focus on my body and my fitness goals too. You don’t have to pay for a membership. If you just go once or twice a week, you’ll find that the one off payments are probably cheaper than the membership. If you go more than this, however, I would recommend paying for a membership so that you can get more for your money, and spend more time at the gym.
Get a giant year planner and put it on your pin board. Most university halls have pin boards in the bedrooms. Year planners are really cheap (I got mine from Poundland), and they are a great way to visualise your year in terms of assignments, holidays, and when people are coming to visit! I have colour coded dots on mine. Green = Holidays, Blue = Enhancement weeks, Yellow = Assignments/exams, Orange = Birthdays, and Stars = When my partner comes to visit. It’s a great way of seeing how much time you have in-between deadlines, and you can easily make plans around your commitments.
Talk to your lecturers. They understand! They’ve been through all of this before when they were at university, so they understand how stressed you’re feeling. Go and have a casual chat with your favourite (we’ve all got one), and I guarantee you’ll come away feeling much better. By the time you’re in your third year, your lecturers are more like your friends than your teachers!
Create a quiet, comfortable space. I LOVE my studio flat. I’ve decorated it so beautifully (the maintenance guys are always shocked at how nice it is), and it makes it feel a little bit more homely. I have multiple pictures on my wall, and I’ve used Command Strips because we aren’t allowed to put them up with nails. They work really well and though quite expensive, they’re worth it in the long run. Your space needs to be quiet so that you can really concentrate on your work. It’s so important that you do the best you possibly can in your final year, so you must be able to focus.
Sleep. Don’t go overboard studying every night. Studying too much can be just as bad as not studying at all, trust me. I made myself very ill at the beginning of this year because I took too much on and worked too hard. You have to give yourself a good nights sleep every single night. If you’re the type that goes out partying, that’s fine, but don’t do it too often or your sleeping pattern will suffer, and so will you.
I hope my advice helps you in your third year of university, and good luck!