Monday, 19 January 2015

Third Year Degree Students: The Fear Settling In...

I can literally smell it. I can definitely feel it. I can't hear it though...The fear and panic. I can't hear it because everyone has locked themselves away or are silently panicking and coping in their own weird little ways.

Welcome to third year of a degree.

Past students will brush it off, "Man up, we had to do it, just don't talk to anyone for a while". Future third years don't get it at all, "Why are you being such a melt for? Just come out, one night isn't going to make a difference". YES IT IS. You will find out when you get here!!

These are a few ways of coping, not dealing, with the panic I have seen and my suggestions to help:

  • Denial. Pretending you have enough time? If you don't look at it, it will go away? It won't, this is FINALS of a DEGREE. This is the one time, doing the bare minimum probably won't work for you! And to be honest, if you have scraped it through this far doing that, imagine what you could do if you actually put your mind to it? You'd finish with one hell of a bang.
  • Isolation. Shutting yourself off and either manically preparing or telling yourself you are, when really you're watching episode after episode of Supernatural? Firstly, if you are manically preparing, CHILL OUT. You will only burn yourself out, we don't have long but it is long enough to over do it and crash and burn at the end. If you are subconsciously procrastinating, there is only one thing for it. Get off that illegal streaming website, it is just slowly your computer down for when you have to do real work. Go outside, take a walk, work out what you need to do, do it a bit at a time. Treat yourself to a cheeky episode at the end of the day if you have done all your work.
  • Defeat. Telling yourself you can't do it, so you don't even try? I'll put my hands up, I'm guilty of this. How do you know you can't do it, if you haven't even tried? My Nanna, and now my boyfriend, always say to me "can't just isn't a thing" you CAN technically do anything you want to do. The only things that are really stopping you are fear, social acceptance and in some cases, the law...(but not for what i'm encouraging you to do, I hope..)
  • Busying yourself. Busying may not be a word, I think it is... Anyway, filling your time with other things, distractions, it may even be things that are highly productive, just not for uni. For example, I am working and doing external writing and recording for other people and my own personal demos/portfolio. Yes, this is incredibly important and things I need to be doing. There is just one problem, balance is key. Work out what is actually the priority here, if you have to turn down shifts at work, do it. If you have to put your personal stuff on hold for a day or two, to finish a piece of work, do it. Okay, somethings may have deadlines, but everyone understands University doesn't just 'get put on hold' in your third year. If you have a deadline, speak to the person, they may just give you a bit of a break.

Writing all of those, I do feel like a bit of a hypocrite. My parents will be the first to say, I am notoriously bad for a few of those.
I had a little FaceTime date with my Mum yesterday and I actually got a lot out of it. It is good to sit with someone who knows you and can see what you are doing from the outside for advice.
I personally get quite bad anxieties when I am panicking, which I won't go into now, but it causes me a lot of quite detrimental problems, so I have to be extra careful to stay calm, plan ahead, keep a balance between work and play. Whether you get anxiety or not, these things are all very important for productivity.

I found this on Pinterest, it is pretty bang on! You may have to zoom in a little bit if you're as blind as me..
So here are some of my own few building blocks to help you out for these crazy few months we have voluntarily entered ourselves into:

  • Get a calendar, write on it when all your deadlines are.
  • Write a list of all the things you need to do for each deadline
  • Draw a timeline (or use your calendar) and mark in when each of these things needs to be done by
  • Make it reasonable, leave time to have chill out time with friends/family
  • Make a to do list every week and tick the items off as you go
  • HAVE ONE DAY OFF EVERY WEEK OR TWO WEEKS. I can't stress this one enough
  • Stay healthy, go to the gym, eat well, sleep well, drink lots of water. It does effect how you perform.
  • Take breaks during the day, read/watch the news, a short episode of something, paint your nails...whatever...
  • If you don't get what you needed to do done, don't stress, just do it tomorrow. Give yourself a bit of leeway when writing your to do list (make it reasonable). Not so much that you take advantage and put things off though
  • You have 5 months. 5 MONTHS of this. Then you have the whole of summer to chill out. 5 MONTHS. That's nothing, it's not even half a year, you'll smash it, just take it step at a time. Believe in yourself, I sure as hell believe in you.
I will leave you with this to think about,  hopefully inspire you to stay focused through these crazy few months! Powerful words!

Much Love and Good Luck!



  1. I tried to post a comment before but I think it didn't work! Anyway-
    I really needed to see this post. I've felt so down about being disorganised and having no structure. I brought my work home to try and get things going and it's done nothing but made me feel like a failure! This has inspired me to get up and be more organised. Wise Chloe is wise.

    1. Yaaay :) Glad I helped!
      It's just about shuffling things around to what works for you, took me ages to finally get it! Changing scenery often helps me, I know you probably have lots of cutting, sticking and loose paper though so it's awkward. I'll come kick you into motivation ;)