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The juggling finalist: balancing your priorities

Your whole student career, it has been such a struggle to find time for all of the things that you want to do. There’s your various clubs and societies, lectures, essay writing, seminar reading, revision, maybe a part-time job, time to socialise, (time to recover from socialising), and of course, remembering to eat and sleep. All of a sudden you sound like your mother, muttering away about “not enough hours in the day”.

Just when you think you have cracked the key to student living – when your organisational skills are finally up to scratch and you’re learning to survive on Yum café snacks and four hours sleep – they hit you with final year. Do everything that you’ve been doing, but now add a dissertation and the job hunt.

How to cope..? 

  • The best advice I can give is ‘Keep Calm’. Every minute wasted worrying is a minute you could have been doing something productive.
  • If you can, keep exercising and eating well. This is always the first thing to go when we are tight on time, but it is as good for the mind as it is for the body.
  • Remember those oh-so-crucial organisational skills: whilst phones are useful for reminding us of meetings and events, a planner should become your most valued possession. It will show you where all of your free time is so that you can fill it up.
  • The train to London is three hours direct. That’s two lots of three hours of uninterrupted work time. And Virgin so kindly offers 15 minutes of free wifi, so do all of your downloading at home.
  • DO NOT WORK TO DEADLINES. For goodness sake, do not leave any assignments until a few days before. You will end up losing a lot of sleep, and then a lot of time whilst you catch up on sleep.
  • As much as it may crush you, Easter is not a holiday this year. It is the time to get all of your last ever summatives written and out of your mind. The time to revise for your last ever exams. If you are one of the lucky ones with a deadline after the break, it is the time to polish up your dissertation and get it perfectly printed, bound and duplicated.
  • Sort out your priorities. A formative is more important than a night out, but perhaps less important than a job interview. Some things may have to be sacrificed, but think of June and July. If the job hunt is successful, then these will be your two care-free months before you are thrown into the working world and be
    gin the next chapter.

Overall, remember how many hundreds of thousands have done it before you and will do it after you. You can do it too.

Good luck!

Ella Spencer

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