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final year

How to make sure that you start your final year at university the right way

Whilst all the first-year students are starting their university journey, with numerous deadlines and socials all in their future, the skies are darkening for final year students who may be feeling slightly more nervous as this year starts.

No matter how long your course is, you're probably about to face your most important examinations and assessments this year, and it's easy to let that swallow you up, so here are some top tips to help you combat that final year stress.

Be organised

The easiest way to stay in control of the workload is to keep your notes organised. Whether that means starting a bullet journal or investing in an academic diary, some post-it notes, and a new pack of highlighters, you'll only be doing your final year of university once so make it count! I always found that if my notes look messy, it's harder to revise from them later on. Underline and highlight the key points, rewrite the lecture if it helps, and make sure you know when all your deadlines are. It'll keep your mind less cluttered as well.

Know what's going on

It's one thing knowing when your exams are, but it's another thing completely knowing when all your other deadlines are. If you know your timetable and keep track of all your meetings and commitments, it'll make life so much easier and ensure you don't miss any important conversations. Maybe give that academic calendar another go?

Look after yourself

It's easy to get weighed down by all your work in your final year because that's your main priority, but you need to remember to look out for yourself as well. Get enough sleep, drink enough water, and take some time to do the things you want to do. Go to the cinema, go out to eat with friends, whatever it is, make time for them. Pace yourself with your work and you'll still have time for you.

Don't leave anything until the last minute

You'll only get stressed when you don't get things done. If you've been to a lecture, go over your notes and write them up at the earliest opportunity instead of leaving it all until exam season. This has never worked for anyone, and will never work for you. You need to pace yourself with your work, and doing things lecture by lecture is the best way to do that.

Don't worry about graduation

It's normal to feel overwhelmed about your choices for when you graduate, but the thing to remember is that your focus needs to stay on your work. Graduation will come around in time, but maybe in that time you'll find something you really want to do and everything will fall into place? The world is your oyster right now, and you don't need to worry as long as you try your best with it all.

Don't compare yourself to others

Everyone works at different speeds, and everyone has different skill sets. Maybe you're better at one subject, but a friend is better at another? That doesn't mean you're falling behind or there's something wrong with you; everyone progresses at their own pace and the sooner you accept your differences, the sooner you'll stop comparing yourself to other people's successes.

Your final year will be hard for everyone, no-one is going to deny that, but as long as you focus on your work, and on yourself, you'll get through it and graduate in no time.