Blog post

Five tips for surviving your final university year

I have just finished my undergraduate degree in Event Management. Yes that's right I survived the often feared and much-hyped 'final year' experience relatively unscathed so I'm here to offer you five top tips that will help you make the most of what may be your last year in education!

By Danielle Roe - 19 October 2018

1. Start early

It's clichéd, you've heard it a thousand times before, and it is also 100% true! Start early by reading articles related to your final year modules to get a head start understanding all of the new theories you will be introduced to over the coming year. It's great to jot down your personal research interests and any contemporary issues relating to your industry allowing you to begin formulating ideas for your independent study research project. Learn to love to-do-lists and weekly planners, starting early and managing your time ensures that you won't get burnt out during the academic year allowing you to achieve the best results possible.

2. Learn to love the library and library staff

Need help referencing? Can't find any information on your assignment topic? Can't get a single landscape page in your word document without all 70 pages turning on their side (phew, that last one is still a bit raw)? Your wonderful library staff will come to your rescue like academic superheroes... minus the spandex suit. The library is a great place to study and write up reports/essays equipped with all of the materials and equipment you could possibly need. Side note: E-Books are waterproof - perfect for the almost guaranteed moment when you shed a tear during a late night library session. Just remember all your had work studying in the library will pay off and will be worth it in the end!

3. Don't be afraid of your supervisor

You pay an awful lot of money to go to university, make the most of it! Your independent study supervisor will be one of your greatest assets and support systems during your final year. If you ever need help just ask for it, you are at university to learn, you aren't expected to know everything, there is no shame in asking for help. Building a great relationship with your supervisor and having regular meetings to discuss your work will make your final year much less stressful and help you to produce the best piece of research you can. My supervisor was brilliant and really pushed me to produce work that I could be proud of, just remember constructive criticism is meant for you to reflect on and improve. Don't take it personally... you will take it personally, they are truly doing their best to help you grow. You will thank them for it in the end.

4. Share ideas and learn with friends

Being surrounded by a bunch of brainy like-minded friends at university is great; pick those brains and share ideas about assignments and research projects. A different perspective on a problem you have to solve could completely change the way you go about completing a piece of work. Everyone has different strengths and having a friend explain a theory or method in words that you can understand will enable you to grasp academic concepts and continue sharing ideas thus increasing everyone's understanding. Having a friend to proofread your work will also prove invaluable and is an easy way to help get the best grades by minimising grammatical errors!

5. Make the most of third year... most importantly have fun!

My final tip is to make the most of your last year of university surrounded by all of the friends you have made since starting your degree. Try your best to achieve the grades that you want whilst balancing going out with friends and experiencing new things. It's often said that university is the time of your life and that it goes by so quickly, looking back over my degree it really does fly by but I have made some amazing friends, achieved what I set out to do academically and wouldn't change a thing about any of it (even the occasional cry in the library)!

So final year students, good luck to you all - buckle up for what is going to be a year that you will never forget, laugh along the way and make the most of your final year at the University of Derby.

About the author

Danielle Roe
Master of Research Student in Social Science and Humanities

I'm Danielle, a University of Derby postgraduate student who loves doing research on LGBTQ+ topics.