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How to make the most of your last semester at university

After the years of hard work, late night cramming sessions, make-shift student meals and a few too many nights out, graduation is nearly in sight. All that’s standing between you and the official start of adulthood is one last push through your final semester. And if you feel anything like I did during this time, the thought of getting through these next few months is probably a little overwhelming.

Between trying to knuckle down and do the best you can in your degree, wanting to make the most of living your last few months as a student and thinking ahead to what you want to do after graduation, it’s a balancing act. Take a look at my top tips for making the most of your last semester at university and how to best manage your different priorities during this time.

  1. Maintain a strong work/life balance

Finding a work/life balance during your final (and probably most challenging) semester isn’t easy. You may feel as though you’re often overwhelmed with your academic studies and not making enough time to see friends or relax. The truth is, there is no ‘right way’ to go about doing this. A work/life balance is completely subjective and needs to be right for you.

It’s important to remember that you’re not expected to be studying 24/7. Particularly during my last semester, when it felt like I was juggling so many aspects of my academic life that I had no time for anything else, I tried to think of my studies as a full-time job. Your lectures, seminars, revision and coursework all count towards a 35-40 hour working week, giving you time outside of this to socialise and unwind. Of course, if you have a big deadline coming up, you may need to put in some extra hours. But trying to keep your working hours within this time frame may help you be more productive, whilst also ensuring you can take the time you need to look after yourself.

2. Find what opportunities you can to strengthen your CV

Although it’s important to not put too much on your plate during your final semester, you may want to consider exploring what opportunities there are for you to add to your CV whilst the time and resources are available to you. You’ve undoubtably heard this many (many!) times throughout your degree, but the job market is really tough. Anything you can do now or put in place for after you’ve finished your exams and coursework will help you in the long term when applying for jobs.

This could be volunteering at a school or with a charity for a few hours a week, learning a new skill outside of your academic studies, earning a new qualification (for example, First Aid) or taking on a role within your academic school. If you’re not sure where to start looking for these opportunities, ask your personal tutor or university careers advisor for help. Think ahead but remember to keep any extra workloads at a reasonable level to help you maintain a healthy work/life balance.

3.Soak up your university town or city!

If you’re planning on moving back ‘home’ or to a completely new area after graduation, this is your last opportunity to make the most of all the things that your university town or city has to offer. This is the place that has been your home for the last few years, full of new friends, new memories (good and bad!) and probably lots of things you’ve been meaning to do and see since moving in but haven’t got around to yet.