Five questions you should ask yourself in your last year of uni

February 01, 2017
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The time is nigh, friends – you’ve entered your final year of uni and you’re about to enter the hallowed halls of being a grad. All those tears and cups of coffee have not been in vain, for you have made it into the most glorious academic year of your life. Cue the angelic backtrack.

But there is just a teeny-tiny bit more soul-searching (read: a lot more) you’ll have to do before the year is out. Luckily, I’m here to guide you through the five questions you should be asking yourself in your final year of uni.

“What kinds of work experience do I need before I graduate?”

By this point in your degree, you’ve probably slapped a few internships down on your resume, or you’re lining some up to fill in your knowledge gaps before graduation. But before you do so, take a moment to really scour through your previous experience and figure out the topics or skills that you just haven’t covered yet.

It helps if you know what you want to do as a career, since you can compare your current skillset to job descriptions. But if you don’t know (and that’s totally OK too), just ask yourself what skills you would like to learn before you enter the real world. After all, who wants to spend precious time at an internship learning stuff you’ve already got down pat.

“What do I really want to do after uni?”

Guys, it’s time for some good ol’ fashioned soul-searching. Wanting to launch yourself straight into a career after uni is really admirable, but it’s also equally as cool to spend a year travelling the world or doing something entirely unrelated to your degree.

Being an adult is not about picking a path and sticking to it forever. Now is the period in your life when you should follow your dreams, as cheesy as that sounds. If you’ve got a desperate passion to drop everything and raise llamas, post-graduation is the time to do it. Figuring out what you want to do once you’ve entered the “real world” might take time or be a painful realisation, but you’ll thank yourself later for not doing something that’ll only make you desperately unhappy.

“What am I going to miss the most about being a student?”

Whether it’s movie discounts, impromptu pub sessions after a lecture or those sweet, sweet holidays, there are some definite perks to #studentlyf. Take a moment to savour the things you love about being a student and you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll miss them once you don your cap and gown. Think of it as an exercise in mindfulness as you reflect upon the ups and downs of your academic career.

“Do I want to pursue more study in the future?”

I know, I know – this is the last thing you want to think about when you’re up to your ears in final year projects and trying to draw one last essay from the void that has replaced your brain. But figuring out whether you want to pursue more study at some point in the future is important while you still have access to academic advisors and all those uni resources at your fingertips.

Even if the thought is just a vague maybe in your mind, book an appointment with an advisor and talk through what your options may be for the future. Trust me, future you will thank you when you’ve been out of uni for a number of years and you’re trying to figure out how the heck this whole post-grad thing works.

“Have I done everything I wanted to do with my time at uni?”

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of assignment after assignment during the semester, so it’s perfectly normal if you haven’t ticked off everything first-year-you promised you would do at uni.

I hate to break it to you (please don’t spiral into a pre-graduation panic), but time is running out if you do want to get that bucket list done and dusted. Never been to the uni pub trivia night? Get on it. Always wanted to take a spin at the Japanese drumming club? Sign the heck up. It’s now or never, guys, when it comes to student life. You better make your last year a banger.

Shannon Coward

Shannon Coward is a third year Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Queensland. She enjoys period dramas, doughnuts and a good nap.

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