Final semester survival guide

This time last year, I started to panic, with only 5 months until graduation. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after university and was doubting myself because I definitely wasn’t ready for the real world of work and being a grown up.

Deadlines, dissertations and the scary approach of Real Life can all be stressful in your last semester of university. But it doesn’t all have to be bad! Follow these steps to make the best of your final semester at university:

Enforced procrastination: Spending 20 minutes watching YouTube videos and scrolling around on BuzzFeed is better for you and your work than you might think. Everyone knows that the answer to writer’s block is to look for inspiration elsewhere, and who is anyone to judge if it comes in the form of watching cats play the piano?! Take a break, trawl Facebook photos and check the entertainment pages, but make sure it is only for 20 minutes!

When in doubt, get a coffee: Don’t spend hours staring out of the window while slowly sipping a latte, but a quick coffee break is the answer to mid-morning or mid-afternoon melancholy. Instead of downing the Red Bulls, synchronise study breaks with a friend and leave the confines of the library. With more caffeine than energy drinks, added benefits come from fresh air, a coffee and five minutes of freedom.

Commit to emptier evenings: Tuning out of work-mode at stressful times is hard, and turning off your laptop at night is near impossible. If you’re not finishing an essay, you’re making a to do list or analysing on Facebook how much everyone else is freaking out. You wake up the next morning no fresher than the night before or find yourself once again at the library with a spinning head. For a more efficient tomorrow, don’t work as late and commit to a technology free hour. However you do it, you’ll be reaping the benefits the next day!

Small goals and social incentives: Town has gone eerily quiet because students have gone in to library-hibernation mode. Despite convention, alcohol doesn’t need to be a taboo from now until graduation. With the rise of nice cocktail bars, set yourself realistic daily goals, and use the incentive of a cheeky cosmopolitan at the end of the week to work harder. The most successful people swear by a nightcap (promise!).

Don’t survive on pick ‘n’ mix alone: 24 hour stints in the library don’t go hand in hand with healthy eating. While most universities do have great meal offerings, under times of stress, we do tend to make terrible decisions. Cue the sugar highs from crisps and sweets. It might be repetitive, but now is the time to listen to what your mam has told you for your entire life!

Save time for breakfast – whether it is a quick banana or scrambled eggs in bed – it will work wonders all day. Make for productive afternoons by adding fruit and beg to your lunch and take time to cook a balanced dinner. I’m not saying now’s the time to start slaving over the stove, but there are some easy to make recipes out there, all you need to do is Google!

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