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university help, surviving uni

So the Easter break is gone and deadlines are fast approaching. The final few weeks of a University year can be disheartening, stress inducing and overwhelming but the chances are, you’re doing just fine. Take it from us, one little step at a time, a couple of top tips and you’ll be able to survive the final hurdle – sans breakdown…

1. Time management

If you’ve struggled with time management throughout your academic career and continue to struggle with mere days or weeks until your deadline, it isn’t too late to change your ways. Set aside an hour or two with a calendar (these printout ones are great), and work how just how much time you have.

Make a note of how many words you’d like to have completed on a certain date – we particularly like weekly word count targets of around 700, meaning just a hundred a day lets you complete your allowance. Revision wise, limit each topic to 40 minute chunks with a 20 minute break before moving onto another.

2. “The Future”

It is all too easy to feel overwhelmed by the future, especially if you’re a final year undergraduate. Post-University life once seemed so far away, but perhaps your graduation date has been set and reality is setting in. Now what? Put your mind at ease by signing up to some job alerts: the Guardian, TARGET Jobs, your University alumni page, Gorkana and LinkedIn are all good starters.

Take an afternoon away from your assignments and work on your CV. Make it easy to read, with your key details at the top, and list your experience in reverse chronological order. Bullet point the main duties in each role for readability and include your predicted degree grading.

3. Dissertation takeover

Your dissertation, stressful as it may be, should end up being a piece of work that you’re truly proud of, a document that represents your degree and it is oh-so-easy to reach the final hurdle and fall off the bandwagon a little. To set your dissertation between a 2:1 and a First (as an example), send that huge tome off to a select group of proofreaders – Mums, brothers, boyfriends and friends, or better yet, enlist a professional. I highly recommend Eve at Eve Proofreads, who helped me to secure a First in mine.

4. Take a break

Don’t be afraid to simply take a break. It can be nerve-wracking to say the least to take time off when deadlines are approaching and word counts haven’t been met, but letting off some steam can help to open up your mind and refresh your concentration/memory. Meet up with a friend and go shopping, or just watch a film with a cup of tea. Anything that doesn’t involve 12,000 words and a laptop!

Michelle Chai is a self-confessed colour avoider, avid coffee enthusiast, multi-tasker extraordinaire and, by night, a regular fashion blogger at Daisybutter. She edits Aesthetic (both online and print) and really enjoys her ongoing quest for the perfect knit. FYI, this one came close to nabbing the title.

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