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How I enjoyed my final year by Laura Burden

Tuesday 21 November 2017

I really threw myself into third year. I realised that, although I’d been doing well at university and had been enjoying my leisure time with friends and working in my first two years at Sheffield Hallam, I hadn’t really explored everything on offer – both at the University and in Sheffield itself. So, I wanted to really make the most of third year, explore Sheffield some more, really push myself at University, try different jobs to see what kind of work I'd really enjoy and what career path I might be interested in and just generally add to some of the great experiences I’d had whilst being at Hallam.

I should start off by saying that everybody is different, everybody deals with their workload and stress differently. I don’t get stressed when there’s a lot on my to-do list (I swear by to-do lists), I’ll only get stressed when there’s nothing I can do to work out getting those things crossed off my to-do list. Of course, everybody feels the pressure when deadlines are looming – I’m sure final years are feeling that now with Christmas coming up, and I’m certainly feeling it with plenty of deadlines and exams on the horizon. However, I keep my to-do list on hand, keep track of my diary and get work done one thing at a time.

As I said, everybody is different. I felt like things had kicked up a gear from the first two years of study but, I guess after all the warnings I was prepared for that! I should probably say now that I did a three-year BA Media degree at Hallam, and I’m now doing MA Journalism. I understand there are always differences in workload and things, depending on which course you’re on and I always figured that, my course was one of the more relaxed ones – maybe that’s just because I know more about media than I do about mechanical engineering.

So, it’s time for the clichés! Remember the ones your Mum always digs out when you’re going through a break-up? Plenty more fish in the sea, it’s always darkest before the dawn etc. well, here’s some for getting through third year relatively unscathed:

1. Get a diary. Seriously, doesn’t matter if it’s from Poundland, Rymans or if you make it yourself, an Academic Diary (September-August) is a fantastic way of keeping track of your timetable, social life, deadlines and everything else you’ve got going on.

2. Take care of yourself, mentally and physically. Drink lots of water, try and do some exercise once in a while that isn’t just stumbling to Tesco at midnight because you ran out of hummus. Make time for yourself, relax with friends, indulge in a hobby, just doing something to unwind when you can.

3. Start early. Never do tomorrow what you can do today! Even when it comes to assignments or revision. It might seem like a good idea to spend the semester having fun and then spending three days straight in the library being fuelled by Doritos trying to get assignments and revision done but, remember the whole taking care of yourself thing above? This kind of ruins that.

Like I said above, everybody is different. Everybody has a different way of dealing with work, a different way of learning, a different way of handling things. I won’t lie, I really enjoyed third year, because that’s the kind of person I am. It was hard-work, but it was a blast. Even if right now you’re finding it a slog, you will find the motivation to get it done. So, don’t give up. Keep going and before you know it, you’ll be at your own graduation!

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