For the past two years, despite all the essays, deadlines, assignments and presentations that have befallen you, people have always said: ‘Wait until you get to third year, the worst is yet to come’. And here you are, finally. A world weary, and likely pretty broke third year, ready to jump back into uni life for what’ll likely be the very last time. There’s no more deferring those expectations anymore because this is it, the last hurdle. You’ll soon realise (if you haven’t already) that this whole year will be spent alternating between feelings of excitement and dread as the prospect of graduation and adult life looms. Expectation hangs thick in the air. Meanwhile life goes on, and September will bring with it a new batch of wide-eyed, tender footed young freshers unversed in the nuances of student life.
At the Freshers’ fair you’ll see them in their droves signing up for every society they can, just like you did, naively thinking you’d have time for that. ‘Just wait’, you’ll think, ‘they’ll be shooting caffeine into their eyeballs to make deadlines soon enough’ as you begrudgingly accept yet another Dominos voucher sheet you’ll never use into your free Student Union tote bag stuffed with pens, condoms and sweets. What’s the Freshers’ fair for if not stocking up on free s**t you don’t need? I’ll tell you what: self-reflection. If there’s one thing you can’t let yourself do this year, it’s give up. Buckle up because third year is going to be one hell of a ride, and no, it doesn’t have to be as depressing as everyone would have you think, at least not with these key tips…
Make the most of your university’s resources
First things first: milk those resources, you’re paying nine grand a year, damn it. Mail your tutor, your careers advisor – don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s for your dissertation, permission to use a whole room to yourself to practise a presentation, or just general life advice (within reason, obviously.) These people are paid to be at your disposal, and you won’t get any of this outside of uni for free. Go crazy; use the crap out of your student discount, take as many books as you can out of your library, go to a lecture dressed like a tramp – make the most of your freedom and perks!
Your social life will definitely take a hit this year, but thankfully so will all of your friends’ too, so the pressure to go out every other night will be less of a thing now you’re swimming in deadlines and trying to make the word count on your dissertation.
Existential Crisis about your future? Everyone gets it.
If you’re worrying about life post-uni, remember that everybody does. Thankfully you’re in the majority. What you need to do is use that fear of failure and channel it into planning. Plan for the future. Now is the time to start thinking about what your next step is and not a second later. If you can, try and have something lined up for next summer to ease yourself into life as a graduate. Whether it’s an internship, a year abroad, part-time work or heck, even a graduate job if you can – aim high! Having something to look forward to will make the future seem that little bit less bleak, and give you a platform from which to make plans further along the line.
Realize things don’t always go to plan
With all that being said, go into this planning with an open mind. Accept that things will happen that are out of your control. Embrace inevitable rejection. No, you probably won’t get your dream job the moment you graduate, but that doesn’t mean you won’t learn anything from it. Don’t let yourself become pessimistic; uni life may soon be coming to an end, but this is just the beginning for you.
There’s plenty of places out there willing to make the start of your journey that little bit easier. Intern Avenue is one of them. Serving as a digital platform that connects students and graduates with potential employers instantaneously, Intern Avenue bridges the gap between Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as offering career advice and support.