Student Tips: Amy's final year advice
Final year. The big finale.
As the start of the end of our degree begins, for a lot of us anxiety and stress can set in – amongst any other personal circumstances we may have. When I felt overwhelmed from my workload or revising for exams, I often felt like I was alone and the only one struggling, however when I offloaded how I felt the more I discovered that I was not alone. This is something important to remember. We often present ourselves as confident, however around 90% of students reported final year exams caused them stress greater than they expected. We’re all in the same boat – and don’t forget to look after your mates.
Take a break. Your wellbeing and health are so important. The university gives undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons free from lectures. This means you can participate in sport or Wellbeing Wednesdays. This is a programme where the SU puts on an activity every Wednesday afternoon ranging from Arts and Crafts, Laughing Yoga to Self-Defence classes. Wellbeing Wednesdays gives student’s the perfect opportunity to refresh mid-week and to give them a boost for the rest of the week.
As a mature student I hadn’t been in education for around 10 years. Writing essays, sitting exams and keeping up with the huge amount of reading, made my law degree a challenge.
I found out that here at Herts they have a scheme for Academic English and Study Skills Development. There are LRC drop-in sessions and a whole bunch of different workshops you can attend from "structuring your writing to making a successful presentation" and "writing up your dissertation." There’s lots of skills and top tips that can help you out.
The Students’ Union also have a thing called SU Study Smart which are one-to-one sessions with one of the Academic & Welfare Advisers. You can explore different approaches to learning and workload management techniques. SU Study Smart is perfect if you feel you are struggling to manage the heavy workload at University. The Advice Team at the SU are all so lovely – I couldn’t recommend them enough.
Let’s get organised!
One of the ways I managed my workload was by buying a student planner (I know this is so secondary school! … but). Whilst the University give our timetable to us all digitally, I found the physical act of planning out my week helped me to visualise and organise my time much better. I have heard from a lot of other students that they also do this too, so why not give it a go? This layout is my fav, check it out!
More than just a Library
When I lived on campus, I studied in my room a lot and it wasn’t until final year I made use of the LRC’s. I mostly made use of the quiet spaces which are in both LRC’s. These spaces are dedicated to students wanting to study in quiet. Sometimes it’s great studying with friends, but for different tasks, such as proofreading, I would need to do this in peace and quiet.
Good Luck Everyone!
So, that’s all for now. Here’s my Number 1 Top Tip - Remember don’t compare yourself to others. Each of us is on our own individual path and there is more than one way to achieve our own personal goals.
Amy Holloway-Smith, Hertfordshire Students' Union Vice President Education