Let’s face it. You probably haven’t done anything this summer.
Unless you call binge watching Prison Break useful, it’s probably got to a point where you’re sat contemplating applying for some work experience. Then deciding that it’s too much effort, and reverting back to your body-shaped indent on the sofa.
But now it’s creeping up on you – another semester is about to start.
You probably should tear your eyes away from Netflix for a few moments, read this, and reconsider your life choices.
Well, life choices maybe not. Just arm yourself with a list of things you need to do, before you become one of those people complaining about their dissertations.
Here’s what every student should have done by their final year:
1. Know what Google Scholar is and how to use it.
WHY DON’T UNIVERSITIES TELL YOU ABOUT THIS.
It would have saved me so much time if i’d known about this before. It’s probably a lot better than your uni’s library collection. It even cites things for you. It’s very rare that universities actually refer you to this website. But it’s a brilliant tool. If you don’t have access to a journal or book on the university library website, then you’ll probably get it on here. Find it and learn how to use it. Now.
2. Voluntary work
It looks good. It makes you feel good. It shows you can be a pretty decent person. Get some volunteering done before you find your time taken over by dissertation and Great British Bake Off.
3. Got some work experience (in a field related to your degree)
Look, I know you spent 2 weeks working in McDonalds when you were in year 10. But is it really that relevant now?
Stop putting it on your CV and find something a bit more useful to pen down. Check out your university’s career page or websites like Student Ladder and Rate My Placement. But of course, you knew this already.
4. Participated in extra curricular activities
Get involved in some sort of activity that isn’t ‘watching TV’ or ‘Spending time with friends’. These things no longer look great when applying for jobs. In fact, they never did, but secondary schools told you to write them anyway.
Find a hobby and stick with it for a while. It could just be going to the gym or running around the local park. Just make sure you have something that makes you a little more interesting.
5. Private Facebook account. Public (and clean) Twitter account
Remember that future employers can see exactly what you wrote 5 years ago (‘just took drugs lol’) and all those pictures with you looking a little worse for wear and a drink in your hand.
Make your Facebook private.
Twitter, on the other hand, should be kept public. Tweet about clean things and follow important people. It will do you huge favours when applying for grad schemes.
You know those weird lectures you get emails about. Those ones that aren’t actually part of your course and are about things like ‘jobs in media’ or ‘the future of Biotechnology’.
Go to at least one of those. Talk to the guest lecturer and add them on LinkedIn.
You’ll thank me in a few years.
7. Figured out who your friends are
You should probably know who your friends are by now. Let go of those who make your life miserable and embrace those who make it better. End of.
8. Learned how to handle your alcohol
We all want a mad one now and again. But by final year, you should probably know your limits and not end up sleeping in a bush outside your house over night.
Saying that, you’re still a student for another year, so make the most of it.
It will never be acceptable for you to get so smashed so regularly ever again.
9. Realised that you never want to leave university