Ready for a Final Year? – OurWarwick
OurWarwick

Ready for a Final Year?

Throughout this post I plan to answer the question, “Do I feel ready for my final year?

I’ll start with the simple answer first. No!

I’m sure many people feel the same way when they see their university experience coming to an end but I can’t quite believe I’m already moving into my fourth and final year at Warwick. Being on a four year course, offered a trial run last year as I watched all of my housemates deal with being final year students on their three year courses. I thought this might leave me better prepared. Perhaps it has put me in a more informed position but I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as ‘ready’ to leave university yet.

So why am I writing this? As much as anything, I hope it can serve as reassurance to other people in the same situation and I’ll discuss some of the ways I’m planning to try and change my answer to this question before June next year.

*****

Whenever people ask me what comes next once I’ve graduated, they seem to get very excited at the idea of my doing a PhD. I haven’t entirely counted this out yet as a possibility (Dr does have a nice ring to it after all) but I’m not sure if further further education is for me or at least, not immediately. Perhaps after a year off I would feel differently.

I’m trying to keep my options open so I plan to dedicate some of my time this year (around the heavy fourth year workload) to looking into job opportunities. Often I think I can be too careful when it comes to applying for things and I always find ways to make myself feel underqualified for a position. To work around that I’m going to try and embrace rejection and just send idle applications to see what comes up.

I have no idea if this is a good strategy as this will, of course, be my first time graduating but I can’t see too many downsides to putting myself on as many radars as possible. All they can do is say no after all.

*****

So that’s plans beyond university out of the way. I think it can be easy to focus too much on life beyond university and to forget that there is still a whole year of university ahead so I want to go over how I’m planning to approach my final year and enjoy the time while I’m still an undergraduate.

Before university starts in October, I want to get ahead on some research for my final year project. I want to fly into next year with high ambitions and probably unsustainable levels of enthusiasm. I’m excited for the work I will be doing next year and the modules I will get to study. It being final year, the course is now very specialised and I finally feel like I have complete freedom to focus on the part of physics that motivated me to take it in the first place.

Whether things are in-person or online, I want to make the most of living near campus again and get back into a good working routine. With or without lectures to attend, I want to go into campus everyday and sit down for a solid day’s work. Hopefully this way I’ll be more productive but also soak in the campus atmosphere after almost a two year absence.

And then there are the things beyond work. I loved getting involved with so many different things in first year so I want to leave myself open to new opportunities. It feels a little bit pointless to try something new when I’ll be finishing soon but when that thought occurs to me I just need to tell myself that a year is more than enough time to pick up a new hobby or get involved with a new society or group.

Alongside all the new though, I also want to rediscover the old. I want to get back to enjoying the things I discovered in first year. I want to make the most of the sports centre, the campus retail outlets and facilities and then to (hopefully) get back to in-person society events as well.

In summary, there is a lot I want to make the most of next year and there probably won’t be time for all of it. I’ll definitely give it my best shot though!

*****

Even just writing this blog post I feel closer to being able to say yes to my initial question. There is a lot to be excited for in the coming year and a lot to be excited about (even if a little bit scared of as well) beyond university. Regardless, I’m sure it will be a great year and it will be nice to start to get back to the university experience I was introduced to in first year before the reign of restrictions.

If you’re going into final year as well, I hope you’re feeling prepared but also that you’re not panicking too much if not. Just focus on the things you can do now either to enjoy the present or prepare for the future and stay open to opportunities. That’s my plan!

Photo by Lubo Minar on Unsplash

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