This article originally appeared on the King’s Careers Blog.
Haleema Ayyub, Project Officer Intern with King’s Careers & Employability, has written a guide all about preparing for third year. Haleema covers how to approach the transition into your final year, sharing valuable first hand experience and advice on how to make this adjustment easier.
Having gone into third year after having a second year that was all online, third year was more of a jump than I expected it to be. On top of being expected to socialise like ‘normal’ again, do well in academics, and apply for internships and job opportunities, initially this felt very daunting. Therefore, I’m going to write things I wish I knew before starting third year.
Firstly, I wish I’d effectively managed my time. Here we have a wonderful blog about time management which outlines key tips to making the most of your time. For me, especially in semester one, this was something I really struggled with. It was so overwhelming being back after a year online, that I was seeing people I hadn’t seen for 2 years again, meeting new people, people I’d only known online, that it became a bit overwhelming.
On top of that, when people say there is a jump from second to third year, there really is. I don’t think I truly processed what that meant until I was in that situation. For example, instead of my original one hour classes and one hour lecture, we had 2 hour seminars weekly and making sure I was focused for those two hours was at first a struggle. Ultimately, you get used to it but it’s just that initial shock of getting used to a new routine. Finding it hard to settle in is normal and natural and you shouldn’t feel out of place for feeling a certain way. Getting used to a new routine does take time.
Furthermore, the feeling of comparing yourselves to others who are at different stages of their career journey happens to us all. At times, scrolling on LinkedIn was daunting and while you’re ‘supposed’ to know your plans post-graduation, I did not. I would not say I wish I knew what to do, it’s just I wish I didn’t compare myself to others and feel a sense of imposter syndrome. Everyone’s career journey is personal to them and you shouldn’t feel pressurised to do something you don’t want to do. So many of my friends have plans to go on and do a Master’s and yet I haven’t. I did think about it but it honestly isn’t something I can see myself doing at this point in time. Knowing your limits is necessary and it’s important to be self-aware and know what works for you and not worry about what everyone else thinks.
I also wish I had gone to a Careers appointment earlier. Initially, I was so anxious when it came to thinking about anything careers related. However, King’s Careers are so welcoming and helpful when it comes to deciding your next steps. Especially if you’re unsure, it’s just good to have the opportunity to talk to someone as that can help you gain some more clarity. It’s always the first step that’s the hardest but the weekly newsletters are so helpful when it comes to discovering new job opportunities. Also, if you don’t even know where to start, initially go to a wide range of events that King’s Careers host and from then, you should get a good idea of what interests you and go on from there. King’s Careers are here to help you make informed decisions and guide you for every step of the way.
Above all, I would say that I wished that I remembered to have fun and rest. Having experienced such a hard past few years with the pandemic, it is important to remember to relax and take time out to enjoy your hobbies and unwind. University is a journey and it’s important to make every step count but above all, for you to enjoy yourself!