So it has come to the end of my university experience. I can hardly believe it. This year has been so quick I don’t feel as though I have left yet. It still feels as though there is more to come! I think part of that is down to the fact that you are in this whirlwind for 8 months.
I came back to university from a year long placement with the RGU marketing team so I was fully in the way of the usual work routine and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about becoming a full time student again. How erratic it can be at times, from merrily wandering from lecture to lecture at the start to frantically trying to find references for a report that’s due soon.
I will admit that at the start I was very chilled out. It actually took me a while to get back into the way of revising again. I was still working and I felt way more comfortable being there than in a lecture theatre for the first few weeks. First semester shook me, which I am sure it did and will for a lot of people. I was way more focussed come second semester as this is the time that you really needed to take on board the amount of work you had to do. I wish I had been more prepared for first semester when I look back now – Something for those who are currently on placement now or will be should definitely consider! Just because you are back at uni doesn’t mean that its time to wind down – 4th year is a game changer!
During my first semester I had no exams but 4 pieces of coursework, I never thought I would miss exams! The word ‘references’ is something I dont want to hear for a while as it was all I could think about during 4th year.
I previously wrote a blog on my top study tips earlier last year – they still apply, I can’t say that I followed them entirely this year but they definitely still apply!
As 4th year is kind of different I have a few new recommendations:
GET STARTED IMMEDIATELY – No I mean it. This isn’t something that I did and I wish I did. Do the little things first like reading your course material and get to grips with what you need to do, write as much as you can when you can as time is not on your side come the deadline and you will have about 3 other things due at the same time.
Ask ALL the questions – Get involved in lectures and tutorials, even if that is leaving a question on Moodle if you are too scared to ask in front of the class. You will get the answer from either lecturers or your classmates. The Q&A’s really helped me for some of my coursework as it just gave some clarity to things I was unsure of that I didn’t think to ask.
REFERENCES! – get all your references early, it’s a big job and really helps to explain your point in reports. You will be expected to use a lot of references in 4th year so prepare because you will be constantly looking for them. Start looking at references now for your thesis!!!
Find a comfortable spot, you’ll be spending a lot of time there – During 4th year I studied at home, as mentioned before, on a comfy red chair – accessible to the kitchen for snacks and coffee with my dog Lucy sat next to me. Wherever you study make sure it’s not disruptive and you can sit without getting distracted.
No phone rule still applies – I didn’t follow this at times, but I had to keep away from it as it was so distracting. You’re better off without it, when you get up for a break use this time to check your phone. This includes other entertainment systems such as Netflix and YouTube as I was really bad for looking at Youtube and didn’t help by the fact my thesis was on Youtube.
Keep communication – It can be hard to still be a functioning human especially during thesis time, don’t shut yourself off from going out and speaking to family and friends. It’s knackering but if you manage your time you don’t have to feel guilty about socialising!
All is not lost – At times you’ll probably feel so overwhelmed you may shed a small tear. It’s ok we all get to that point. The thing to do is take a moment for yourself, go for a walk, have a cup of tea, do anything to just take a breath and reboot.
Try your best – 4th year is crazy, but it matters so my advice is to really give it your all!
I have survived this year and I feel amazing for it! I feel sad too because I can’t believe it’s all over. I am still working for the marketing department, so I have not had my last day on campus yet. It will be a sad day but I am looking forward to the future!
If you want to find out more about study skills at rgu check out their website for lots of top tips.
Well done everyone on their exams! Now for results and graduation!!