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How to Survive your Final Year

You’ve made it. After two (or however many years) years and four semesters – more if, like me, you elected to do summer school – you’ve made it. Your last year at university. And it feels good. Finally, you’re on the home stretch. And then all of a sudden someone asks you the dreaded question: “So what are your plans for after university?” They expect an answer, too. Because you’re in your final year. And you’ve thought about it, right?


Or maybe you sleepwalked through those two years and four semesters and their question wakes you up just in time to freak out. Final year sucks. There’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel, but there are a million and one things you have to do to get there. Here’s how to survive that last year:



Most lectures are posted online after class now, making it easier and easier to skip out on attending. And when you’re not actually required to sit in a lecture theatre and take notes it’s easy to put it off until tomorrow. Then suddenly it’s mid-semester break and you haven’t watched a single lecture so far this semester. So just go to class. Your GPA will thank you for it. And we all know that GPA’s win grad jobs. I mean, we’ve only heard it about a thousand times.



Join a political party, an association affiliated with your chosen career or apply for internships. Make connections. You never know: maybe it’ll lead to a job offer after university.



So what if you didn’t land that fancy internship? You can still volunteer and nothing looks better on a resume than volunteer work. Law students: check in with your local community legal centre – maybe they could use a hand. Teachers, volunteer with a sports team or kids’ club. You get the gist. And hey, volunteering is another really great way to make connections.



Need I say more? I’m sure you know that finishing that assignment worth 40% is more important than another night spent eating pizza and playing Cards Against Humanity with your friends.



It’s final year. You’re nearly done, but are you doing what you love? If not, you’ve got (nearly) two semesters to come up with a plan. Can you use your degree to do what you’re passionate about? Find a way. And if you can’t? That’s what postgraduate studies are for.



You’ve made it this far. Don’t freak out now. And hey, remember: the rest of us are in the same boat. If you must freak out, try to do so with a friend. It minimises the potential emotional damage.


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