There’s a lot of pressure riding on your final year, and it doesn’t necessarily come from within – it also comes from your parents, tutors, industry contacts and friends! With heaps of conflicting information flying at you on the ins and outs of what makes a perfect final year – it can be hard to decide what is best for you.
So we asked the two people on our generationYOU Team who graduated in 2017 – what the heck did they prioritise in their final year?! Here’s what they had to say.
Hey, I’m Saara! Hands up who has a plan for their final year of university? Now hands up those who believe that your final year is going to be a smooth-sailing process? *SIGH*
My final year was a blur of work, internships, uni assessments and major STRESS. I’m pretty sure I became a shell of a human – a fact that I’m sure my friends could testify to. So how did I come out slightly grinning on the other end?
Well. For starters, I made it quite clear to myself what my 2 major goals were for my final year of uni: a) I wanted to put in as much hard work as possible into ALL off my subjects and b) I wanted to secure a full-time job.
From these two goals I wrote down what I needed to do to achieve them: a) I made sure I put aside reasonable study time for each of my uni subjects outside of lecture and tutorial hours b) I applied for internships and volunteer positions consistently to increase my experience and chances of landing a full-time job at the end of my degree c) I identified skills that I was weak in (that were needed in my industry) and sought to build on these.
Maybe your goals look similar to mine – maybe they are completely different. The key is to identify what is important to YOU and how you can achieve success in these areas. When in doubt go back to basics. Why did you start studying? What have you learned so far? Where do you want to go? Who will take you there?
My recommendations of things you should be considering in your final year:
1 // What is your main goal when it comes to your career?
2 // Do you have any skills you need to improve on before you graduate? Do you have any connections at uni who could help you do so?
3 // If you are aiming for a full-time job, what are employers looking for from graduates in your field?
4 // Have you been scheduling “chill” time for yourself? i.e. going to the movies, having dinner with friends, going for a walk on your own etc.
5 // Have you been relying too much on your degree and ignoring your enterprise skills?
A lot of us assume that the final year is the be all and end all, so we place a lot of pressure on ourselves. Try to remember that a year is a LONG time – you have 12 months to get yourself into tip-top condition to tackle the big bad world! Good luck!
If you want to chat more about your final year or see how you can get involved with generationYOU send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn I’d love to hear from you!
Hey, I’m Ana! Depending on your level of involvement at uni, your student life can really take over your vision of the reality and make you forget that there is such thing as life outside of uni.
I was a VERY busy student and can sincerely say that my life was only intertwined with the uni bubble. So when it came to my final year, I completely disregarded any future that would exist after uni finished.
In all honesty, I had a lot on and I really enjoyed being busy with my club, facilitating workshops and working for uni …. Ah and studying of course. The sense of community at that time was through the roof! I also can’t complain about any of these activities as I learned so much along the way.
Now to the bad side of living in the moment: When the reality hit me and my last exam ended, I found myself awfully unprepared. I even ended up being very depressed for over a week. I can describe it as if my soul had a big hole in the middle because up until then, all my life consisted of was uni, and it had ended.
To save you from my mistakes, I decided to write a few tips AKA ‘what I wish I had told myself one year prior to finishing uni’.
1 // Decide what you want to do after you finish uni. May be even write it out in different sections: Work, Hobby, Travel, Savings, Family/Friends, etc. Even if you are not sure, try to fill out the sections that are easier and the rest will come. One of the reasons why I didn’t think about my future was because I was not 100% sure what to do career wise, that should not stop you from planning other aspects of your life!!
2 // Write a set of goals for each section and look at what you need to do while you are still at uni. One of them will most likely be job searching and applying for grad positions!
3 // Return to your lists throughout the year and stay on track of your goals. That will require focus on some particular tasks like writing applications and updating your CV, so be prepared to prioritise that above some of your other activities at uni.
4 // Discover what is outside of uni. For example, sign up for some dance, painting, rock climbing, classes etc. and get to know people outside of uni. I would also recommend finding out about some professional events based on your interests – that will help you to find out more about the industry and network with people!
5 // Don’t be scared of what will come after uni finishes. One of the biggest mistakes that I almost made was to continue studying right after completing my bachelors degree. Go outside of uni and experience something in the ‘real world’, you will be surprised how much more you can learn in the industry verses at uni.