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How To Make The Most Of Your Final Year In University (Career Wise)

Hard to believe, but I’m actually in my final year of university. To be completely honest with you, I have been bossing this year so far, and honestly, even though I am EXHAUSTED, it’s a brilliant feeling to think about how much I am doing, where I am now and what I have achieved since the start of the year. So, if you’re in your final year now, or you’re going into final year next year or even if you’re in your first year thinking it will be a long time until you’re in your final year (it won’t be, l trust me) listen up – you’re going to want to read this article. Final year is your last chance before you move on into the workplace, it’s your last chance to gain experience before you’re pushed out into full-time jobs and living your best life. So, because I think I’m doing an alright job at it, I want to give you some tips. You don’t have to take them, but if you do, I think you’ll be very proud of yourself when you look back at the end of your final year. 

  1. Throw yourself in to everything that is remotely connected to what you’re studying or where you want to go. 

From personal experience, I know that this is the best way to use your free time to beef up your CV. I want to go into journalism, I am currently the Editor in Chief of HerCampus here in DCU, while I also write for a magazine, and I get paid for it! My CV is looking great regarding experience in the journalism field, and I can confidently say that it puts me in a great position for getting a job after college. My work has been published on a few sites now, and I have experience writing and meeting deadlines, while also having experience editing and working in a high position (even if it is volunteer – it’s still experience!)  

My advice to you: Know how much you can take on and fit in as much as you can (but leave room to allow yourself to do each of these things to your highest ability and remember college is your priority!). 

  1. Don’t doubt yourself, you might surprise yourself. 

Honestly, before I accepted the offer to write for the magazine, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. This meant I was about to say no to the opportunity until I imagined how it would feel to be able to be paid for my skill. I had been writing articles for free until that point, and now I know (before I have even left college) how the journalism world works. Since then, I have held down this job for four months, and I get so excited when a new article is assigned to me! Plus, it’s another bit of income and experience for my CV! With the input and feedback from my editor, it also allows me to be a better journalist when I graduate! 

My advice to you: If you are offered a role, it’s for a reason. Do not doubt yourself, but always trust your gut. You can do anything you put your mind to! 

  1. Keep up to date with readings and assignments for ALL your modules. 

While it may feel great to be bossing everything else, remember you need to actually do your college work (and well) to graduate. Keep reading your readings as they’re given to you weekly, there is nothing worse than getting a break and having a mountain of reading to do. Keep on top of them weekly and you’ll feel so good about it! Also, in terms of assignments, don’t be afraid to do a bit at a time. You do not need to do it all in one night – bit by bit works too. 

My advice to you: There will be no need to stress about college work if you keep on top of it! Make time for it, as it is the most important thing this year – you’ll be thankful when you graduate! 

  1. Take your moments of motivation when you get them and capitalise on them 

Not everyone is motivated all the time. You can’t be expected to always be going non-stop. Rest is allowed, you can take care of yourself – make time to do it, you need it! So, if you’re feeling like you’ve hit a block in the road and your brain won’t work, take a minute and do something else. Go for a walk. Trust that you will feel motivated at some point, and you will get a lot more done then (and better quality) as opposed to you struggling your way through it when your brain isn’t on 

  1. Know when you have done enough volunteering and deserve to get paid for your time. 

This is a big one, and I owe it to my mum for making me see that it’s not a bad thing. My second year was full of volunteering for different things to get experience for my CV. Then, when I came into third year, I rethought it all and focused on using my precious time to make money (I know it may sound bad, but it’s true). I have done enough volunteering and gained enough experience from it, that now I’m putting my skills to use to further my career. It’s not a crime to know when you deserve to be paid for something!  

My name is Emma, and I'm originally from the north west of Ireland! I'm a journalism student in DCU, and have loved reading and writing ever since I was young. I'm a big lover of music, and also do some modelling work on the side!
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