So, we are coming up to the last semester of the year! Whether you’re in 1st, 2ndor 3rd year (or any other year) there will be lots of things going on, never mind the stress of exams and deadlines. Therefore, it can sometimes be hard to keep up and stay on top of everything. I have put together a little guide of everything you need to be thinking about going into your last semester in order to help you transition a little bit more.
Preparing for end of year exams/ deadlines
Unless you are one of the lucky ones, semester 3 will be exam (or deadline) season for you. This will usually be around May or June time meaning you’ve got between 4-8 weeks where you should be revising.
The best thing to do to prepare during this period is to create an exam timetable. Note down all the exams or deadlines you have and dedicate a bit of time for each one. Make sure you are giving your self a break between revision so you don’t burn yourself out. You will be much more effective with your revising if you take regular and short breaks.
In order to prepare yourself for actually sitting your exam on the day, the best thing to do is to look at past exam papers or past coursework examples. Some people think this is the best form of revision so it is worth trying it out as a revision technique to see what you think! Past papers are a great way to effectively learn the majority of one topic in a few questions. The questions are usually just variations of each other which not only prepares you well but also allows you to accommodate different structures and information in your answer. Finally, with past papers a great thing to do a few days before your exam is to actually sit one of the papers, take a few hours and write your answers as you would in the exam. If you get it done within the time limit this can be a great boost in confidence whilst relaxing your nerves before this exam. If you don’t, then you know this is somethibg you need to keep into consideration in the real exam.
Form yourself a revision group, by this I mean get together with a group of 2/3 friends and book yourself a room in the library or anywhere else convenient. Make sure to keep the group small to avoid unnecessary distraction. You will have plenty of time to socialise after the exam. Revision groups give you the opportunity to do some question-and-answer work. However, it also gives you the chance to help each other. If you or them don’t understand something maybe one of them will.
Looking for summer internships/ schemes
Your summer holidays are long, use it as an opportunity to find a few weeks of work experience that will help your career and boost your CV. There are plenty of opportunities to engage in work experience. Your university employability team will be eager to help. Alternatively, you can get in touch with companies yourself. If you are a little more adventurous you can look at getting experience overseas. Again, your employability team will be able to help with this.
Semester 3 can be a bit intense at times, so make sure you give yourself lots of breaks! The weather usually gets a bit better so one of the best things to do is to take a walk. Walks are a great way to remove yourself from the constant though that you have an exam coming up. When revising its fair to say that exercise takes a back foot. Walks mean that you can still stay active during exam season meaning that summer bod will still be on track.
Join a society
Joining a society is often something that people do at the start of their first term at university however some don’t. Summer term is your last opportunity of the university year to get involved with a society. It might be that you can take a friend with you. I found that taking a friend when joining a society only adds to your enjoyment. Often societies will also put on events during exam season to ensure that people do maintain their social life. It often helps with your revision.
So if one of your main regrets at the start of the year was not joining a society, then here’s your chance!
Apply for graduate jobs (if your in your last year)
Applying for graduate jobs is a daunting prospect however in most cases it is a process we all have to go through. For some of you, if you are in first year you won’t need to worry about getting a job just yet. However, if you have some spare time in your final term, just take a look at some of the companies that are offering graduate jobs and see what you like and what you don’t. For those that do need a job to go into when they finish your final term, don’t be intimidated, these companies want you. A good resource to use are job sites such as Reed and the professional social media, LinkedIn. Often you can find many jobs on here and all you need to do is send your CV off and nothing else, making the process easy and quick. However, on the topic of CVs, try to be creative with some. A lot of companies enjoy seeing a CV that is not the standard CV they are used to seeing. Take a look online for some inspiration. Tailor it to the company. For example, if they value creativity, add a bit of colour to your CV. If you are going for a more creative role this will make you stand out.
Your student loan will eventually run out! So make sure you are putting a little bit of money aside if possible to save for your summer break. You will have around 2 – 4 months off for summer so having a little bit of money in your pocket will be a massive help.
Overall, your last term at university will be super crazy, full of deadlines, but also full of those last opportunities you should 100% take. Spend those last moments of university with your friends and make sure to celebrate after your exams and deadlines are completed.