5 reasons your final year at university isn’t as bad as people make out

 

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The Independent Online

No matter how much students struggle in their first and second years of university, final-year students always say the worst is yet to come. “Ugh, second year a struggle? Wait until final year – double the essays, double the word count, and if someone messes up? They surrender their place on that grad scheme, start out on a downward spiral and wind up living with mum and dad until they’re 40.”

Students in their first years of university hear doom-laden descriptions of final year all the time, and although everyone suspects the older hands exaggerate, some of it does rub off. Younger students expect their workload in final year to be hell.

Here’s the thing – when students actually arrive in their third year, yeah, they have more work, and yeah, it’s harder, but life’s not that bad. The world doesn’t end or anything. Students who complain about final year are mostly just scaremongering. So, here’s a more optimistic outlook - five reasons why final year is not so bad.

Avoiding club nights is far easier

Finally. Some people feel uncomfortable in clubs - some people spend their club nights in complete concentration, trying their absolute hardest to pull off the relaxed look. Students like this will have spent their first and second years trying, unsuccessfully, to weasel out of them. The shyer student says “I can’t, sorry guys, I have work due” and hears “nah, none of us do; this year’s easy”. No more; by third year everyone’s got mountains of work, which means students finally have an excuse people will buy.

No more exam skills sessions

Freshers trundle happily off to their first "workshop", only to discover they’re expected to listen to "tips" from "experts" with their "ears". These experts tend to say things like “remember to read the key words in the title”, causing every student there to wonder "how would I have gotten in here unless I knew that already?" Second-year students are smarter, but still probably misjudge the odd welcome talk. Final-year students are pro - they spot with absolute precision which sessions they can skip, which means avoiding more early starts. Final year means more lie-ins.

Final-year students live in better houses

After living in a hovel in second year, students tend to say no more. They embark on house viewings with determination and resolve – this time around they actually ask questions and barter over rents. The result? Third years land a proper house – one without damp or mysterious smells. Final-year students do more work, but at least they do it in a nicer environment.  

The fear

First-year essays didn’t count, and second-year essays didn’t count much; but by final year there’s no more messing around – essays matter. This sounds bad, but it sort of works as a blessing in disguise. Many students understandably struggle with motivation when they have a 2,000-word mock essay, or one worth one per cent of their degree. No longer – final year essays all count loads, and messing them up might mean missing a 2:1. This sounds horrible, but third-year students have the fear, which means motivation.

Graduation’s soon

This is made to sound horrible. Final years moan that their job prospects look rubbish, and miserably mull over that statistic which says 47 per cent of graduates were in non-graduate jobs in 2013. OK, they’re entitled to a whinge on this, but there’s still stuff to be optimistic about. Yes, it’ll be competitive, but final year students are nearly ready to chase exciting opportunities and to make their way in the fields they love. That’s not so bad, is it?

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