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Your final year of university can seem a scary year, full of exams, dissertations and preparing to leave the sheltered bubble of university life. However, it can be one of the best years, and a chance to apply all you’ve learnt in your previous years and work on a project of your choice!
We’ve put together some top tips for surviving your final year of university, from how to manage your dissertation, top exam tips, to making sure you’re looking after yourself!
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Your final year of university can be exciting, but it can also be a stressful period, managing deadlines, applying to jobs and managing the finances of university. So it’s important to make sure you’re looking after yourself.
Some great ways to make some time for yourself are to spend time with friends (even if it’s just a facetime!) take daily walks and keep up with your societies.
If you're looking to join a new society, or want to find out how you can still participate in university societies online, check out our blog for some top tips for joining university societies.
Taking care of your mental and physical self is so important at university. Stay active and try to maintain a health balance of university work and your social life.
For more tips on how to look after your mental health at university, check out our blog.
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Creating a weekly and monthly timetable is a great way to stay organised during your final year of university. Allowing you to easily arrange your extra-curricular activities, other social events and easily see when any essays are due and other key exam dates.
Have a set duration of time allocated to each task. This allows you to divide your time for different subjects adequately. (Don’t forget to include self care days/ hours in this timetable).
Another top time management tip during your final year of university is to start projects and essays early. Your final year of university will fly by, so it’s important you are beginning your work early and getting started, so your not left behind and constantly feeling like you need to catch up.
If you often find yourself putting tasks off, you might want to check out our blog for some great tips on how to stop procrastinating!
For many degree subjects, writing a dissertation is a massive part of the final year at university. Whilst it can seem an enormous task, writing a dissertation is a chance for you to investigate a subject you are personally interested in, and produce a project you are particularly proud of. Here’s a few dissertation tips:
A top writing dissertation tip is to choose a theme that you have an interest in. This could be a subject you are interested in career wise, hobbies or a particular module you’ve enjoyed on your course.
Picking a theme that is currently trending or trended may also be beneficial, especially if it is something that is commonly discussed. Once you do, approach it from a different angle, this allows you to carry out your own unique research. Previously researched topics can be useful for creating an outline or guide as to how you can conduct your own research, especially for the methodology, but do not copy a study.
Speak to your advisor in your allocated seminar sessions and make sure you attend all of them. Have them review your question, the hypotheses and methodology chosen. Complete all drafts you are requested to do; take on any given advice and keep note of their email so you can contact your advisor outside seminar hours.
Getting your question approved earlier allows you to start collecting data and composing the other aspects of your dissertation quicker. The earlier you start your research the quicker you can get everything approved. You don’t want to leave anything till the last minute; the methodology can take a bit of time to collate the data. So meet the deadlines and get started as soon as you can - use every given bit of time you have!
During the current climate, where we are all staying inside more than usual and studying from home, it’s important more than ever to make sure you have a work enviroment where you can properly concentrate and work best.
A chaotic room, office or desk space can lead to a chaotic mind, making it harder to complete tasks. Here’s a few tips on how to create the best working environment:
If your university accommodation has its libraries open, it could be beneficial to study from there. This will allow you to create separate working environments for studying and relaxing and add structure to your studying day. If possible, try to study in an environment that isn’t your bedroom, as this will allow you to switch off better and concentrate better.
If you’re in shared accommodation, it’s a good idea to remind your friends and flatmates to be respectful and considerate during the day when you are trying to study. It may be a good idea to set times with each other for when you all would like to work and have quiet time. This will allow you to all work in a calming environment, and to also recognise when to stop working and relax in the evening with your flat/house mates.
Final year exams are an important part of helping you achieve your desired overall grade. Here are some good final year exam tips to help ensure you achieve the grade you want:
As with your dissertation, the earlier you start to plan, prepare and get revising, the better! If you have a lot of exams, it’s important to prioritise the ones you have first and make a solid revision plan so you’re not neglecting any modules.
It’s also a good idea to highlight which exams you feel the least confident on, and spend the most time on these. There’s no point spending hours revising a topic you feel confident on.
Brief and concise notes are the best to revise from. Copy and pasting paragraphs and novels from study guides are time consuming and make it harder to retain the information. Break down your revision notes: to bullet points; trigger words and phrases that link to the main topic.
Tailor your revision notes to how you study best. For creative and visual learners: spider diagrams; mood boards, poems, and illustrations, may be more useful for revision that just words on a paper. Ensure the link is direct and brings all the ideas and concepts together.
Your final year of university can be stressful and hectic at times, but it's also one of the best years of university, so remember to take care of yourself, organise your time and have a productive work space.
Work hard, but also allow yourself to have fun and take in your last year of university fully!