You can do it Bruce.. dealing with the last hurdle of university.

Friday, April 19, 2013


When I was younger, time seemed to take forever to pass. The six week summer holiday seemed like six months and waiting for Christmas and your birthday was like waiting for eternity. However now I'm older, I can hardly believe how fast time flies. It scares me. Without sounding too much like a 'sh*t white girls say' Twitter account, time seems to pass by in a whirlwind. It's April for Pete's sake. I was thinking the other day how I can't believe it's been almost a year since I finished uni and got a job. I've almost been a working girl for a year, that my friends is crazy. When I think back to this time last year, I was a stressed bunny. I was living, breathing and eating uni work.. not quite literally but you get my drift. I have had requests before to do university blog posts/videos and although I've done starting uni posts, I've never done any that are about what to do when you're at uni. Seeing how stressed I was last year, I thought I'd do a post about how to deal with that last hurdle. Chances are no matter what year you're in, you're going to have a lot of deadlines. Third years may be done already but at this point I was frantically reading and writing the last bit of my dissertation and other final essays. You may even be at school/college and coming up to revision time. This post is for you all guys who are slaving away, and well I wish there had been a post when I was stressing myself out last year. I hope this post gives you some tips on how to get to the end of deadlines, without having a breakdown.

Time Management:

Chances are if you're a third year, you're going to of mostly got your work done. If you're anything like my boyfriend though who basically did his dissertation in the last three weeks before handing it in, this may be for you. Time management really helped me, work out your day, spend a hour or two on one thing, then have a half hour break and then start with something else. Rotate so your brain doesn't get too frazzled on the one subject. Allocate times to go see tutors, if you have the chance for tutorials, take them! It can really help having another pair of eyes look over your work and give you confidence or pointers on how to improve. Try to get up early and get a good amount of hours sleep, make the most out of your days. Seeing as I act like a 90 year old, ditching the nights out wasn't hard for me, but maybe plan nights out for days when you have days off, no one likes doing work when you're hungover. Try to give yourself a day off once a week, everyone needs a break and if you don't, you're going to make yourself exhausted. Have a chill day, go for a walk, even go out with friends and clear your brain for a bit. Even if you give yourself a afternoon off, do it. Uni is important but don't let it overtake your life, you still need some you time.

Dealing With Stress:

If you're anything like me, you might be a bit of a stress head. I was a very anxious Annie during the last few weeks of uni, so much that I still have nightmares of that panic of doing work. I let it all get on top of me, which wasn't a good thing to do. I think with my boyfriend leaving his work so late, I took his work anxiety on too! Like I mentioned above, have some me time. Go run a bubble bath, light some candles, turn the lights off and just chill. Don't think about work, have a chill and you'll feel so much better. Even a hot shower can help. Go for a walk, do some exercises, just take your mind off work for a while. Time management helps the stress, by getting organised, you'll know what's going on when and when you'll get stuff done. I always tried to get everything done way before hand ins so I didn't end being a stressed Susan around deadline time. Chances are you'll do better work when you're not stressed and panicking. Try to clear your mind when going to sleep, I'm not going to lie, some nights I lay awake till 3 am thinking 'I need to do this, this and this' but what was the point? Keep a notepad by your bed and note down everything you need to do tomorrow before bed. Get it out of your head, then snuggle down and relax. Maybe read, watch some tv/youtube videos, listen to calming music before bed. You'll be more alert and less stressed if you get a good nights sleep. Breathing in and out slowly whilst counting to ten is always something I do when I get especially panicky/stressed. Sometimes you need to take a breather and get some perspective before totally stressing yourself out. Remember it will get done, you won't fail.

The Last Little Bits:

Oh gosh, those last few bits of work are always the ones to take the longest. Proof reading, adding quotes and referencing are always those fannying around bits that will take as long as the actual writing. My tips are to get as many people as possible (apart from fellow students) to read through your work, send it to a tutor (if they're okay with that) your parents (but let them know, it's your work and to not get all demon headmaster on your ass) your boyfriend/girlfriend, or even ask on Twitter/Facebook. Someone people proof read for experience so you never know someone may be willing to look over your work. When you've spent six months on your dissertation, you start to go cross eyed, a fresh pair of eyes may pick things out you may of never noticed. If you need some quotes, I always headed to Google books, pick out a book/author you want and in the search bar put in keywords. For example if I needed quotes for blogging I may put in *social media* *blog* *Internet* etc and see what came up. It'll save you and your eyes from scanning the whole thing, this is for the last few quotes. Whenever I got books from the library I would insert post it notes on the quotes I found useful. I'd then go through them at the end and throw in any unused ones that fitted in with my work. Of course with quotes you have to reference. I don't miss Harvard Referencing that's for sure. Whoever invented that was a douche, however if you're like me and can't remember what comes next whether a comma or a colon, try Neil's Toolbox. You have to pop in the name, author, date etc. But it puts it all together for you, I used it for all my essays and the reference were always fine! Motivate yourself with motivating music, make a play list and play that whilst doing work. I found that gave me a push to finish my work, some songs you may want to add to your play list are; Ellie Goulding & Calvin Harris: I need your love, Katy Perry: Part of Me, Kelly Clarkson: Stronger, Cheryl: Call My Name were/are songs on my play list. But I bet you reading this probably have much better taste than I have!

What to do when you're finished..

Of course when you finish everything and hand in dates pass, the relief you will feel is indescribable. I will never forget the feeling of having that weight lifted off my shoulders. I could of danced for two days straight. However soon you realise, oh crap what do I do now? I suddenly didn't know what to do as the uni work I'd spent my time doing was now done. I gave myself a month off, I blogged, sunbathed and slept. I always thinking giving yourself a break is a good idea, recuperate and get yourself back to normal. Of course you may have a job lined up for straight away, but try to get a little rest.

Talking of jobs.. what do you do? We all know that jobs can be hard to come by and seeing as I studied Media, media jobs are notoriously in short supply. Big cities is where it's happening, but unfortunately neither me or my boyfriend really want to move to London and I'm definitely not up for commuting. I once had to get a 6am train, it was awful. This meant that my choices were more limited, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. Because I also live away from home, it means I have a flat to pay for, I couldn't afford to take a unpaid internship which sadly is one of the only ways to get experience in the sector of jobs I wanted to venture into. If you don't have many outgoings, maybe consider interning, it's a great way to get your foot in the door, after all it's not what you know, it's who you know. I wish I could of done, but I wasn't prepared to bankrupt myself. With this in mind, I got a job in retail. Sometimes it's better to get a job just to get some money and learn some different skills. This led to my personal shopper job so you never know where it might take you. Check the Job Centre website for listing's, get your local paper and try websites like total jobs. Your uni may have a specific job page, mine did. Or there's special graduate sites, if you're in the south try Graduate Jobs South website for graduate jobs and opportunities. One of my favourite bloggers, Jen has a internship page on her blog which she updates, and follow companies on Twitter as they sometimes advertise jobs and opportunities. Keep your eyes peeled, check sites every day. Email companies, write up a cracking CV and send it out. You never know what you might get in return. If you get a interview but don't get the job. Ask for feedback, then you can build on what didn't get you the job.

If you're a fellow blogger, maybe join programmes such as Skimlinks, you can make a little pocket money from links on your blog. Or maybe ad sense or if you have enough readers maybe join a agency such as Glam. You're not going to make millions over night but it'll maybe give you a little pocket money.

University can be tough, boy my three years there were three very challenging years. But I did it and so can you. I realise I have mainly targeted this post at university students, but if you've got exams etc. My tips are don't stay up all night revising, invest in note cards and coloured pens. Write everything out, it'll stick better and relax. However if right now you're feeling a bit stressy and a bit like 'ah I can't do it' watch the video below if one of my favourite scenes from a film ever. If that doesn't motivate you, I don't know what will.

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  1. Absolutely fantastic post Corrie, seriously brilliant!
    Totally with you on Harvard referencing, and thank you so much for that link! I'm sure that's going to be really useful.
    Some great tips in there, I totally agree with getting a good sleep and taking breaks, all-nighters will do you no good!

    (One little thing, degrees are four years in Scotland, not three unfortunately!)

    Fantastic! :D