Studying for a degree can be challenging, but that’s not to say it’s without its merits. University provides the perfect opportunity for opening your mind to new experiences and new people, making both memories and friends to last you a lifetime. However, in the UK, the standard three-year degree means those on four-year courses could be left feeling in the lurch as friends they’ve made over the years suddenly move away in the pursuit of new ventures. As well as this, another year of further education can be difficult to process, especially when it feels like everyone else is moving on with their lives. To help you get past the negative feelings you may be experiencing, we’re investigating some of the best ways to cope as a fourth-year university student.
Get stuck in from the start
It’s easy to make friends with people on your course when they’re the ones you’re sat next to in lectures and seminars every day. Most people will advise you to make friends outside of your course, as it’s nice to have friends who have interests different from your own, and who can offer you new experiences you might not have come across otherwise. Obviously, this is also something we recommend, but if you’re undertaking a four-year course, then it makes sense to make friends with those people who will be there for your final year, too. There’s nothing harder than suddenly finding yourself alone, and university can sometimes be isolating. To prevent you from flying solo in your final year of studies, make sure you’ve got a few shoulders to lean on in your course or other four year long courses.
Don’t lose your head
If your fourth year has been a bit of a struggle, either because your friends graduated last year, or because your workload is getting the better of you, then don’t feel like you have to struggle alone. Your university will have a support network for you to lean on in times of need, and talking to someone impartial about what’s bothering you can be a massive help. If your studies are becoming too much, you can always talk to your course supervisors to see if you can get extensions or to see if they can offer you any extra help.
Get your railcard out
Just because your friends have moved away to pastures new doesn’t mean you’ll never see them again. In fact, university is the ideal time to visit people, as your schedule is likely to be much more relaxed than when you have started your career. If you’re feeling blue or just fancy an exciting trip to another corner of the country – or even another country! – Then it’s time to pack your bags and take a break from your studies. If you don’t have the funds for a trip, then make a Skype date with friends or family to make sure you’re staying in touch.
Make new friends
If most of your friends graduated last year, or you just haven’t met people you find you gel with as well as you’d like, then it’s never too late to begin the process of making new friends. Living in London means you’re surrounded by tonnes of people, all with diverse interests, backgrounds and talents. Getting to know these potential friends could be as simple as joining a team or a club or deciding to attend a dance class you always wanted to try. There are a thousand ways to get to know new people in the capital, and there’s no better time than now to experience new things.
How are you coping with fourth year? Let us know in the comments.