Hayley Blakelock writing for The Daily Touch couldn’t have summed up third year any better. ‘No one can deny that uni is stressful at times, but when you get to third year it’s a completely different ball game. You’d do anything to be that naive fresher you once were, partying and not having a care in the world about uni deadlines, exams, and jobs. This is what it’s really like to be a final year student.’
I’m in agreement with Hayley on that one! I always wish I could go back to first year so that I wouldn’t have to leave uni, and I could enjoy the perks of student life just that little bit longer. Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end at some point.
I’m here to give you the real insight in to third year, and all the different experiences your going to need to be aware of. Believe me when I say university teaches you a lot of skills from education, to real life scenarios, and I’ve grown so much over the last four years, which I know wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t go. Now there’s no problem at all going to a uni in your hometown, however for me personally going somewhere far from home helped as it gave me the independence I was craving for.
Uni is definitely the best place to get first hand life lessons and learn how to survive in the ‘real world’. Let’s keep this between you and I but just a head’s up they are two completely different things! Survival in the adult world is only possible if you apply what you have learn’t during this crucial time.
Right let’s jump into it…
I don’t know about you but before I went to uni I had a lot of negative comments from school teachers telling me they didn’t think university was for me, which for me was them saying I wouldn’t make it to university. It’s these kind of comments that keep me so motivated now and pushed me to go in the first place. These doubts that were projected on to me gave me more motivation to work hard, get there, and prove them wrong. Uni can bring many difficult situations a lot of the time, and your integrity and beliefs will be challenged by so many, but you just have to block out any distractions and remember what you are there for.
You get a lot more work to do in final year, including dissertations, or exams because it is worth two thirds of your final grade. Luckily, I didn’t have any exams in my third year, however that meant I had more assignments and a dissertation to do, which still isn’t easy. By third year mastering time management is very important because of the heavy work load. You don’t want to be panicking and not giving yourself enough time to finish assignments. Please learn from my mistakes and don’t start assignments last minute. Give yourself time to finish and perfect them, and if possible get feedback on drafts to improve. Always ask for help where required, and don’ feel ashamed if you don’t understand something, it’s best to ask in the beginning so that you aren’t lost half way through.
However leisure time takes up a lot of money, money which could be saved for life after uni.
Yes a social life is still important in third year and just because you are doing a dissertation, exams or final year project doesn’t mean you have to become anti-social.
The Independent, wrote an article ‘Final year at university isn’t as bad as people make out’. To be honest I agree with them to an extent because you get used to the work load after a while. Remember in first and second year when every party that came up your friends were begging you to go even if you really didn’t want to? Well finally third year can help you out with that! Having loads of work to do is always a good excuse for not going out, and if you have friends that are like-minded they will be doing the same or at least be understanding when you say ” Sorry guys I can’t I have too much to do.” Instead of going clubbing, try to have dinner nights in with your friends or go to house parties if you prefer, but don’t go to crazy. Balance your work with nights out so that you get the best of both worlds.
I would advise you to make sure you save as much money as possible during your time in university, because finding a job afterwards isn’t as straight-forward for everyone and there might come a time post uni when you need money to survive whilst you look for a job. This is something I wasn’t told before going to university and I had to learn the hard way.
I’m sure many of you have found where you are living by now as lectures have started. However there are always the few who leave it last minute and end up having to crash at a friend’s place. The Independent article I mentioned above also talked about housing. ‘After living in a hovel in second year, students tend to say no more. They embark on house viewings with determination and resolve – this time around they actually ask questions and barter over rents. The result? Third years land a proper house – one without damp or mysterious smells. Final-year students do more work, but at least they do it in a nicer environment.’ It is very key to live in a decent and comfortable environment in final year. This is the year where it all matters and have a disruptive home can really have an impact on your end result. Thankfully in my final year I lived in a very nice house. It was pretty decent, because we were all final year or masters students, that’s something I recommend! which meant that the house was quiet most of the time and we kept the house clean. If you are living uncomfortably right now, change it you’ll thank me later.
The proudest day and the day you’ve been looking forward to is graduation day. My family and I were overwhelmed with joy and so proud of what I’ve achieved. I know you will be too on your graduation, which is why you need to work hard now so that it can all pay off.
I just want to leave you by saying third year can be one of the most fufilling parts of your uni experience as you get to really focus on your course and just overall personal growth. However this is where all your skills will be tested so you have to make sure you do a good job at keeping everything under control. If you really want that first or 2:1. your going to have to work for it. You don’t want to regret not making the most out of your time at university, so have as much fun as you can, but don’t forget to work hard because if you stayed until third year it’s obvious that you want to do well.