Let’s be honest… fourth year is tough.
There is no denying that your final year will be a challenge – it’s the most important and therefore the most daunting. But try not to stress too much – like all the other years, it can be exciting, packed with enjoyable modules and classes, and it gives you the chance to undertake your own research dissertation on a topic that excites you. But fourth year can also be bittersweet as you near the end, surrounded by all your classmates and lecturers for the last time.
No doubt you will look back on your time at RGU with great memories and it’s incredibly important that you enjoy these final months before heading off on your different paths. The term is already half way through, so we thought we’d ask past students and lecturers to share their best advice on surviving fourth year, which will hopefully help you get over the last hurdle.
- Firstly, remember that you’re not alone.
You’re never alone with university worries. Your fellow students will have the same issues, questions and worries, and they can sometimes be the best people to turn to for support.
The last term of university can be quite magical – you might find yourself talking to people in your class that you’d never even spoken to before. Once you realise that you’re all under this huge umbrella of pressure, friendship groups and cliques can fade… there is strength in numbers and there’s nothing better than toughing out library all-nighters in groups!
- Say hello to nights in…
You’ve had the whole of first, second and third year to party. Now, it’s time for you and your flatmates to embrace the night in. Order your favourite takeaway, watch Netflix and just relaxxx. You need to give yourself time to think about things other than exams, assignments and of course, the dissi. Having a quiet night in means that you wake up next day fresh-faced and relaxed, rather than hungover and tired after a night out and unable to look at a computer screen for longer than five minutes… sound familiar? However, we’re not saying to go cold turkey! It’s also good to let your hair down … once in a while!
- Be realistic and give yourself plenty time to complete work.
One top tip that kept recurring was to get organised. Creating study targets can be a great way of setting attainable and realistic goals, and you’ll be more likely to achieve them. Plan out your days to include library visits, study breaks, and time to do all those other little important things like laundry or catching up on your favourite TV show. Scheduling in some ‘break time’ is crucial to ensure you don’t run out of steam.
One of Fashion Management’s recent graduates, Deirdre Kelly, shared this great piece of studying advice:
“From someone whose been through the process, the best advice I can give to you is find the method of studying that works best for you. If you find you work best as part of a team, form a study group. This is a great way to share reading, discuss ideas and most of all have a support group that feel your pain. However, if you’re like me and find you work best in a quiet room with no distractions, embrace your inner loner!”
- Attend all your classes!
Sounds obvious, I know, but lectures are the best place to get hints about upcoming exams and advice on how to complete your coursework – ask your lecturer as many questions as possible, no question is too silly! This is your final year, so use it to your advantage and make use of all the facilities available to you on the campus, which leads us to our next point…
- Learn to love coffee…
Many of our students do not start drinking coffee and tea until their final university year – bad I know, but caffeine also has its benefits. Drinking coffee or tea is a great way to refresh the brain, ensure you stay awake and keep you going on particularly tough days e.g. when deadlines are looming. Having a coffee break is a great pick-me-up and good excuse to get away from the books for a while and chat with friends at the nearby Costa and Starbucks.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
We cannot stress the importance of a good night’s sleep. We see a lot of final year students investing in quality makeup to conceal those black bags under their eyes, ha ha! Save your money and prioritise a good night’s sleep instead. There reaches a point where you simply cannot absorb any more information and it’s pointless staying up all night to stare at the same page for hours on end. Allow yourself the occasional early night, switch off your laptop, put down the phone. This way you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to pick up your studies where you left off. It won’t just do wonders for your brain – nothing beats some good, old fashioned beauty sleep!
- Enjoy It!!
This is the last time that you’ll be in a classroom with all the familiar faces. Soon you will be entering the big, bad world of work, so get to know your classmates and lecturers – the fashion world is small and you never know who you might need to call on for a favour in the future. Support one another, spend quality time together – don’t go through the pain alone. Motivate and support yourselves, because the friends you make at university will often be your friends for life.
- YOU CAN DO IT!
Not a piece of advice but instead something you should be telling yourself every day during the run up to dissertation hand-in. We guarantee that once you’ve completed your final year, you will feel a huge sense of achievement and in years to come, when you look back at the abundance of fantastic work you have produced, you will be incredibly proud of yourself. GO YOU.
Just remember to believe in yourself, we know you can do it.
Do you have a piece of advice that would be worth sharing? We’d love to hear from you – let us know in the comments below.
The Fashion Management Team