Lifestyle | A guide to surviving your final year…

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It’s your final year at university. The great idea of moving away from home has well and truly wained; in fact you could probably think of nothing better than having every meal cooked for you. The constant hangovers are no longer as fun when you’ve got serious work to do. Everything seems to be becoming a hell of a lot more grown up. I, personally, think it’s scary. The past few weeks I have been revising hard for university exams and thought I’d share with you my ‘guide to surviving your final year….’ I just wish I listened to my own advice sometimes. 

GET ORGANISED 

If you’ve managed to coast your way through university without any level of organisation until now, you’re lucky. It’s now time to purchase a diary and try to plan your work out. If, like me, you have a dissertation to write throughout the whole year, it’s best to make your own smaller deadlines along the way. Smaller deadlines make the enormous task of up to 10,000 words or more seem a little more achievable. I’d personally recommend a daily diary that leaves plenty of room to put notes in for every day. There’s some good collections at both Urban Outfitters & Paperchase.

EXAM ANXIETY 

As you may know from a previous post, in the last 9 months or so I have been suffering from anxiety and depression. Due to this, my approach to exams has changed slightly. Even though you may not have these problems I believe that the new approach I’ve adopted can help everyone. I’ve basically been trying to see the bigger picture. The exam that you’re stressing about won’t define the rest of your life. It isn’t worth it to completely burn yourself out so remember to get plenty of sleep, look after your body and attempt to relax.

When it comes to the actual day of the exam, try to work out what kind of person you are. If you’re bit of a crammer like me, talking to friends and going over some last minute revision can work out well. If, on the other hand, you’re the complete opposite and don’t want to hear anything, why not try listening to some music? There is nothing wrong with zoning completely out and ignoring people for the last half hour before an exam. I’m sure you’ll be forgiven.

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF 

Just because it’s your final year doesn’t mean your health should suffer. Amongst all the takeaways and alcohol, there probably hasn’t been a better time at university to try being healthy. It isn’t actually too expensive to eat healthily or even join a gym. Most cities have some cheaper gyms catering for students. I know in Newcastle that some start at just £10 a month! If you can’t really afford a gym you can always just go for a run or try some yoga in your bedroom. I might even post some low-cost, healthy student recipes on the blog in the next few months.

ENJOY IT! 

This is going to be your last year so make it count. It’ll be the last time you get to live with some of your best friends, the last time to not have the pressures of full time work and the last time you get free money from the government to spend haha! For me university has been some of the best and worst times of my life. I look forward to what is to come after it but at the same time I still don’t really want it to end. Try not to have any regrets and accept that everything happens for a reason.

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the advice given in this post. I’ve been working so hard in the last couple of weeks and I thought it’d be a good idea to share how I deal with final year stress. Let me know in the comments how you do, or what you have done, to cope. r

Declan

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