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How to Prepare for Your Final Year at Uni

How to Prepare for Your Final Year at Uni main image

By Emily Valentine

If you're heading into your final year at university, it’s possible you might be getting a little panicky.  It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of final exams, a hefty load of written work and big, self-initiated projects such as a dissertation. Final year doesn’t have to be daunting though. Here’s how you can beat the fear and get to grips with your last year as an undergrad.

Tackle your reading list

Whether you've spent your summer lounging on a sunbed or volunteering for a charity, as the new term draws near it's time to get focused. Dig out that reading list and see if you can get through a couple of books before you start back at uni. Trust us, it will be much easier tackling a few now, while you're still feeling (relatively) relaxed.

Find out what to expect

The unknown is often scarier than the known, so if you find out what sort of projects and exams you might be expected to undertake during your final year, you might be better equipped to start back at uni with a focused mind. If you haven't already been given a fair idea of what's on the agenda for your year ahead, see if you can pester a tutor to send you some info.

Plan to plan

Remember how excited you used to get about buying a load of new stationery before you started back at school? Rekindle that feeling by investing in a shiny new planner or diary. Even if you can't start any proper planning yet, sometimes it helps to get the ball rolling by noting down key dates. Plus, who doesn't like new stationery? It's never too early to try and get organized.

Get into a fit state

Late nights and early mornings in your final year may have you reaching for the energy drinks and sugary snacks, but you need to try and resist the temptation of quick fixes. A healthy body equals a healthy mind, and, however many times you may have heard that mantra (and most likely ignored it), now is the time to take it on board. 

Even if you can only manage a handful of veggies a day and a quick walk around your local park, every little helps. Exercise tends to energize, so you might find you become more proactive, and that's definitely a quality you're going to want to harness during your final year.

Think positive

It's not unusual to get overwhelmed and anxious when you've got big things ahead of you, so it's important to keep yourself mentally fit as well as physically. If you find yourself feeling fearful before entering your final year, you might want to have a chat with someone to get your feelings out in the open.

Sometimes a friend or family member can help but if you still find yourself feeling troubled you can seek advice from a professional. Your first port of call could be your uni itself, as they often have welfare and advice staff to help deal with exam and other stress. Charities such as Mind or Shelter can help with specific problems such as stress or housing concerns.

Work as a team

If you have a close network of friends at uni then embracing final year together can be a great way of keeping enthusiasm levels up. Group study, reading or discussion sessions can get ideas flowing and help turn your dull study day into a social event that's both fun and productive. As an added bonus, learning how to work constructively as part of a team during stressful times is a great skill to have when you’re searching for employment.

Although it might be easier said than done, if you confront your final year with a positive mental attitude, you'll be on track to ace your final year of uni.

Emily Valentine writes for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency which helps career starters find everything from project management roles to marketing internships.

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