Hi Explore readers, welcome back to uni!
For many of you, 2016 marks the end of your undergraduate studies. I graduated at the end of 2015, so I know what an exciting, busy and (sometimes) daunting time final year can be. Here are some tips to get the most out of your last semesters as a student.
As you reach the end of your studies you’ll understand how university life works, and hopefully you will have picked up some excellent time management and study tips along the way. This means that final year is the perfect opportunity to give your GPA a bit of a boost. Set yourself some (realistic) academic goals and work towards achieving them. Keep on top of your readings, create an assessment schedule and take some stress off yourself by ensuring you don’t leave assignments to the last minute. If you’d like some study tips to get your academic year off to a great start, check out Erika and David’s blog posts.
Make time for yourself
While it’s important to put time and effort into your university studies, it’s even more important to take care of yourself. Remember to have some time out to relax! After a particularly stressful night studying, I like to spend an hour watching TV, listening to music or reading a book to switch my brain off from all the lecture notes and assessment.
Start planning early
Many graduate programs begin the recruiting process at the beginning of the year, so it’s worth thinking about future employment quite early on. The Graduate Opportunities and Graduate Connection websites are great places to start – they have information about current and opening graduate positions, plus lots of helpful hints and tips to get through applications and interviews. Final year is a great time to gain some professional experience – you could think about taking part in an internship or doing some volunteer work. The start of semester is also a great time to go over your resume. Make sure you’ve included all of your work history and experience, transferrable skills and academic recognition to ensure you give yourself the best chance when on the graduate job hunt. For some excellent pointers on creating a stand-out resume, take a look at the resume page on the Griffith University Careers and employment website.
Enjoy the experience
Graduating university is an amazing achievement and you should be proud of the hard work and study you put in to get there. So make the most of your final year – attend classes, get to know your peers, and have a chat with your lecturers and tutors. The academic staff at Griffith will be able to give you great advice, not only about their subject areas, but also work after university.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
In a perfect world, we’d graduate university and immediately start work in our dream jobs … unfortunately, it rarely works like this, and the reality is that very few graduates (myself included) are lucky enough to fall into the position they want right off the bat. It’s perfectly okay to take some time out – set out on an overseas adventure (I took a couple of weeks off, traveled to Japan and had the best time), work on that novel you’ve been wanting to write or have a go at baking that triple choc fudge brownie cake that’s been calling to you – just allow yourself to really enjoy graduate life. When it comes to work, think about looking for entry-level positions that will allow you to build up your skill base, so that when your dream job does open up you’ll be in the perfect position to move into it.
I hope these tips take some of the stress and mystery out of final year! It really is an exciting time, so embrace it and enjoy it. After all, you’re only a first time undergraduate once!