In recent week’s most of the focus has been on the fresh faces on campus and helping to make them comfortable in their new environment, but my concern is for those who are most comfortable.
I feel that those students who have been around for three years (or even longer for some) who’ve been offering the Fresher’s advice, may need some of their own.
As a now-graduate I can tell you my third year was the worst of the lot. It was the most stressful time. I went from not wanting it to end to wanting it to be over RIGHT NOW in a matter of weeks. I just wasn’t prepared at all.
I’ve got a lot of third-year-friends on Facebook and whenever I see them posting about uni I want to wrap them in bubble wrap and mummy them through the year, but unfortunately giving them advice they may or may not follow is all I am able to do (forcing bubble wrap on them may be seen as assault).
There are a couple of things I had been saying since day one of university but never did: budget, not leave everything until the last minute, and just be generally organised (you should have seen the state of my notebooks!).
I didn’t budget, ever, I left everything (including my dissertation) until the last minute, and my notebooks still haven’t been organised and I left uni in May. These may not seem like the most important of lessons to learn, but I feel like my degree certificate certifies me to tell you they are.
You may have survived this far (like I did) without budgeting, but before you blow your last ever doses of Student Loan (from the company you may curse now, but will miss when you’re in my position) at least look into what happens to your bank account when you graduate.
My student account with HSBC thankfully just magically transformed into a Graduate account when I finished university and it allows me to keep my free overdraft for a little while, but not all banks do the same. When my sister left uni her overdraft quickly became her enemy when her bank immediately sent her charges for being overdrawn – charges she couldn’t afford to pay. Be aware and be careful.
As with the Last Minute Club and minimal organisation stuff, it’s all just kind of common sense I ignored but I’m urging you not to. Plan your assignments well in advance and if you have free time start writing your essays whether they’re due in two days or two months – do it! Most importantly with this one is you don’t know what’s around the corner. I thought I had plenty of time to complete my dissertation, but study time was swapped with grieving and I was forced to fill out extenuating circumstances forms.
Realise that partying isn’t a full-time job
Although I’ve told you how important it is to be organised this year, I am not going to tell you to put away the party shoes just yet – I’d just advise you wear them less frequently.
Often third year’s struggle to find this balance and go out too much or on the flipside not at all. For the party girl I suggest you swap nights out with the girls, to nights in with the same bunch it’s more quality time and you wont be nearly as tired or hungover in the morning.
For the third year not going out at all I know that your studies need to come first (can’t re-iterate that enough), but this is your FINAL year. You’re never going to get to party like you can as a student again, you’re never going to get to use the phrase “I’m a student” to get away with doing crazy things again, you’re never going to be surrounded by all of these people again.
I know this is all very upsetting, but make the most of your friends while they’re nearby and party like a Fresher while you can still get away with it.
Get your work/party balance right and make me proud!
I’ll be back with more Graduate Groaning’s soon, like us on Facebook to be up to speed!