For students like me, nearing the end of a university stint that felt less like a coming-of-age and more like a fever dream, the upcoming semester brings with it a sweet tinge of sentimentality and a not-so-gentle nudge into the future. The prospect of entering that mythological ‘real world’ is a daunting and terrifying exercise; a reality-crushing and life-altering transition that has come much too fast and all too soon. On the brightside, this last semester could bring a new beginning, marked by the unshackling of deadlines and due dates. New year, new look, new you. With the end nigh, here’s some helpful advice for your last hurrah crafted from the minds of those who’ve come before us and survived to tell the tale.
1. ‘Get your education’
This semester is your last chance to save your final mark. The imminent ringing of graduation bells has been a huge wake up call, for me at least, to stop taking my degree for granted. Regrettable days spent skipping lectures and getting by listening to the recordings the day before an exam aren’t reversible, but there’s still time left to do it a different way. Make like a first year and be uncomfortably ready. Do the readings, find that lost motivation from three years ago; if you ever wanted to know what it feels like to hand in an essay on time, now’s your chance! Then again, it wouldn’t be a fitting student reflection if it wasn’t written at the very last minute in our final semester, right?!
2. ‘Let it go’
Anxious? Nervous as hell about these last few months? Me too, wtf! We all are, some of us just hide it better than others. It’s far healthier to acknowledge the feelings about this odd, liminal time in your life than to keep it in.
There’s a good chance you’re regretting not getting round to things while you had the chance, but remind yourself that it’s not possible to do everything, and that’s okay! These opportunities don’t expire once classes are over. They’re reminders of your passions that exist outside the university campus and can be explored in new and exciting ways post graduation. It’s important to remember you’re in control and free to go in whatever direction you’d like. If you still need more time in the bubble, there’s always postgrad!
3. Crack open a cold one
Last of all, avoid the biggest regret of all and take the time to appreciate what you’ve achieved. Completing a degree is no easy feat, but you’re on your way to ticking off a huge life achievement. Get together with the people who’ve helped you along the way. Celebrate life a little bit, but don’t get gloomy. Revel in the work you’ve produced over the years. The end of being a jaded fifth year university student is also the dawn of a new era—filled with a breadth of possibilities of other hackneyed stereotypes to become.