Final year; the permanent neck, eye, and brain-strain from reading too much, deadlines flying out of your ears and unprecedented mini meltdowns. This is all part of the journey! (I keep telling myself anyway). Now, I was pre-warned about how intense final year would be, but I feel like this year has nevertheless hit me like a tonne of bricks! So, how does one cope with the 101 assignments and exams looming?
Neck-strain, eye-strain, brain-strain...they're all happening! Endless trips to the library, frustration that you can't find the book you want and getting considerably huffy with the person sat next to you because they are shamelessly chomping on their crisps in the library. These are the dark days, where you spend more time staring at a computer screen and pressing back space on your coursework, than you do spending time with humans face to face. All I can suggest is SLEEP. If you've overdone it on the reading, have mind-block, or if you've simply had a bad day - just sleep on it! Sleep is the cure to most things, and you wake up with a fresher mind-set.
Now, you know you've hit final year when you treat going to a supermarket as a break! Aimlessly wandering around the aisles, picking up anything and everything, and buying a shameful amount of energy drinks and treats is totally normal. They do get you through, so as sad it is, going to a supermarket does the world of good (apart from your bank balance statements which contains a long, long list of Lidl/Tesco/Sainsbury purchases. Oops. But no, cooking a decent meal every day gives you the brain power to continue during those loooong study sessions.
3. COFFEE! (or Tea!)
This goes without saying. Although caffeine is not good for you, it gives you that kick you desperately need. Especially coffee in the mornings. And afternoons, and we can't forget a good cuppa tea in the evenings. Now, some of us depend on coffee, some of us depend on tea, some of us (like me) depend on both! Quite honestly, it is the little things in life that give us the greatest pleasures, and in my opinion, a strong coffee from the likes of Costa, or a decent cup of tea at home, really gives you the strength to carry on studying. Hot drinks have become my best friend, my mug is next to me at all times and I'm going through so many teabags for PG Tips I feel like I could qualify to be in their next advert. Of course this may indicate that I have a (borderline) addiction for hot drinks, but it cannot be denied that a hot drink solves everything.
So, this is your last year of uni- make the most of it! It will be your last chance to have a non-fixed routine before entering the world of work. That being, the place where you without fail, have to be in the office by 9am. You can afford to just pop to your friend's house a few streets away in between lectures at say 2pm, you can spend a phenomenal amount of money on drinks and food out, and you can decide to stay up and get up whenever you want. Why? Because you're still (just about) a uni student! You can also spend an unhealthy amount of time browsing social media, your newsfeed, pressing refresh...that's fine! You won't be able to enjoy that luxury sooner or later, and it is a productive yet social type of procrastination, right?
We all know the effects of exercise. But really, when you feel stressed beyond words, the best thing you could possibly do is let it out! Exercise wakes you up, and releases our happy chemicals; those endorphins! After a good long run I feel like I can conquer the world (only temporarily of course). Equally, if you're not a fan of running, get your sports shoes on and join a gym or join a sports society at uni. It is never too late to start anything!
6. STOP WORRYING
These are probably the two words that I keep telling myself day-in, day-out. There is only so much you can do in your final year, when the deadlines are thrown at you left, right and centre! Balance is key and so is time-management. It isn't easy and some days you may just want to chuck it all in, but in a matter of months you will have that gold-dust degree under your belt! The blood, sweat and tears will pay off, and all those late night working sessions will pay off.