Advice for Your Last Year of Undergrad

Four years can feel both incredibly long and ridiculously short at the same time, particularly with respect to one’s undergraduate years. The time that a person spends pursuing a specialized education while also navigating newfound independence and sudden adulthood is an undeniably transformative period in their life. The only word that suffices the feeling at the end of it all is bittersweet. As a parting gift, here is a small collection of advice that I have gathered together in the past year, from me to you.

  1. 1. Every storm will pass

    An adage that I have personally known to be true: when it rains, it pours. These words have seemed especially relevant in not only my last year of undergraduate studies but the last year of many students. Preparing to transition into a whole new stage of life can present many challenges, insecurities, and worries, and having to balance several different responsibilities and considerations can be stressful. However, even in the dark moments, it is important to remember that every storm will and does pass. Sometimes you may need some extra help, and there is nothing shameful about that. Even the impossible thing will be over at some point; believe that.

  2. 2. Support systems are key

    Friends, family, romantic partners: all wonderful support systems to have. And please, use them! Perhaps if those options happen to be less accessible to you, and even if they aren’t, it may be helpful to think about less conventional support systems as well. This might include mentors (such as professors, supervisors, and teaching assistants) and online communities that share a common interest or passion (such as the kinds you can find on social media platforms). Regardless of who happens to be available to you to turn to, you don’t have to go through things alone.

  3. 3. Self-care is real (and it takes active work)

    Though self-care has become something of a buzzer term, this should not take away from the fact that a large proportion of students experience burnout in their final year of university. There is nothing wrong with taking those last semesters in an overall more relaxed manner if you so choose, but actively taking steps to do things that reinvigorate you may help maintain your motivation levels. For me, that has meant making time for writing (hence, my articles with Her Campus). If your current coping strategies don’t seem to be as effective as you would like, it is not a bad idea to try something different.

  4. 4. More often than not, comparison harms

    It might seem like everyone around you is put-together and ready to embark on some new, exciting, successful journey. Comparing yourself to others truly does suck the joy out of your life and diminishes the things that you do have to be proud of. It is difficult to advise this, as I am working on this myself, but do not play the comparison game – it’s dangerous and makes you reduce your value in your own eyes when it shouldn’t.

  5. 5. Have faith in the process

    Maybe you’re not on the path that you thought you would be on at this point in your life. Maybe you’re dealing with things that you don’t feel comfortable sharing with others. Maybe finding job prospects has been difficult, and maybe those graduate school applications are eating up a lot of time. Have faith that things will work out the way that they should. Also, pizza never hurts.

Writing for the Queen’s University chapter of Her Campus has been an absolute pleasure, and I wish all the members of the current (and future!) graduating class the best of luck. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed!