Third-year fever: All the things you need to do before you leave

They say that university years are the best of your life, but which year was the best of your university life?

First year is fresher’s mania, and, consequently, fresher’s flu, where you’re finding your feet and exploring a new city. Second year you’re out of halls and into your first shared house; amongst disputes about who’s doing the cleaning, it’s an even greater taste of independence. Then before you know it your final year rolls around. Despite being a veteran of the university lifestyle, have you actually done everything you said you would during all of that first year excitement?

Fresher’s week may be the ideal time to try new things, but it's essential to make the most of your final months at university before graduating into the world of work. As a final year student myself, I wanted to make sure I completed everything I said I would, from eating at the restaurants everyone talked about, to trying my hand at drop-kicking a complete stranger. So I wrote a list of activities that I think everyone should try before graduating. Not only will you get some great experiences out of it, you’ll save some of that much coveted loan too as all of the activities are on a student-friendly budget.  

From wine to water

We’ve all been there, itching to go out and dance, but finding it impossible to ignore the minus sign flashing at us as we try to take out another £10. So why not try hitting your city with no money at all, except a strictly limited budget for a taxi home?

Stick to tap water with plenty of ice to keep you refreshed and only go to the bars and clubs that are free - and with spacious dancefloors, of course. It has to be said that watching your highly intoxicated fellow students is an experience you won’t forget and will no doubt be laughing about for days. I guarantee you’ll get the adrenaline rush from all of the dancing without the alcohol. Plus, no hangover...

What colour socks are you wearing?

If you were lonely this Valentine’s, fear not because the solution is simple: speed dating. Long gone are the days where to be single and looking is seen as desperate, putting yourself out there is what it’s about. A lot of universities hold student speed dating events, much like the one I attended in an intimate café setting, with 26 two-minute dates.

Daunting as that prospect may sound, it’s one of the most hilarious experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of. The look on the unsuspecting stranger's face sat opposite when you ask them what colour socks they’re wearing is priceless. Asking the most bizarre questions will liven the evening up no end as well.  Even if you’re not in it for a date, which, I would just like to clarify, I wasn’t, meeting new people and hearing their stories is part of what uni is about. You never know, you could come away having been matched with the love of your life.

Challenge yourself

I’m a firm believer in grabbing opportunities with both hands, and uni is the ideal time to do just that. There’s no point just breezing through uni life like anyone can in my opinion. Whether it’s a charity trek to Everest Base Camp or Kilimanjaro, there are tonnes of ‘challenge yourself’ events to get involved with. Not only will you have the chance of a lifetime to see a far corner of the world, you’ll also be raising money for some amazing charities. If travelling’s not your thing, stay closer to home and try the city’s half marathon. I’m taking on Sheffield’s in May to leave the city on a high note, and hopefully a speedy one.

Kick things off

Kick-start the remaining months of your third year, literally, with a self-defence class. University-organised classes are usually fairly cheap and those skills are always going to be handy. Hopefully though, you won’t ever need to use them. That said, there is something empowering about being able to defend yourself and drop kick someone with grace and ease. Just use your powers wisely, please.

Bonjour, je m’appelle Hannah

I have long been envious of those who can speak more than one language, so it was only right that learning one was added to the list. It’s all about immersing yourself in to another culture and no doubt making a fool of yourself in parts, but hey, that’s part of the fun right? No sooner have you grasped the basics than you can start putting them in to action in that new French restaurant you’ve wanted to try.

Satisfy your appetite

This is far from just a good meal. This is going to all of those places you have drooled over every day for the past two and half years as you’ve walked past them. You’ve avoided them up until now, reciting the mantra, it’s not cheap for me to eat out every night, and often it’s not. If you look out for student deals and discount vouchers on websites though then these places will soon be within your eating budget.

Besides, you’re saving so much money already from your booze free nights out that at the end of the month, why not treat yourself to that little quirky little tapas place with those amazing pastries in the window?

Hannah Bryan is a final-year student at Sheffield University. You simply must follow her on Twitter

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

FDM Group: Business and Technical IT Consultants – London, Manchester, Glasgow

21,000-24,000: FDM Group: Kick-start your career and join FDM’s award-winning ...

FDM Group: Business and Technical IT Consultants – Birmingham

21,000-24,000: FDM Group: Kick-start your career and join FDM’s award-winning ...

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'