Five things you'll feel in your final year of uni
Being in your final year of uni is much like being a medium-sized fish in a medium-sized pond – and let’s not forget you’re probably disturbingly aware you’re about to be dumped in the ocean. Your final year can also be the most interesting and dynamic of them all: you’re a totally different person from your first-year self, and you’re dealing with the stress of your final exams, combined with being poorer than ever and desperately trying to figure out what you're going to do with your life next. If you’re facing graduation, you’ll probably be feeling a little like this.
Good ol' lectures
You’ll probably notice your attitude to lectures has evolved over the years.
Even though you have no idea who most of your classmates are, their faces have become familiar and comforting. It's also easy to remember back to week one in your first year when tutors seemed so worldly, but now it's terrifying to think of them as potential colleagues. Plus, it’s pretty scary realising that although today you’re sitting in a lecture learning, you’re only months away from actually doing the thing you've been studying. Yep, the deep regrets over all those readings you skipped is finally setting in.
Unlike every other year, though, what you're learning actually seems to have some application to the real world. Final-year courses are the most interesting because they pull everything you've learnt together. You feel like you're actually learning stuff.
You’re thinking a step ahead
One of the main reasons for going to uni has become disturbingly clear: it’s all to lead you to a job.
Now you're spending more time applying for jobs than studying for exams. You used to feel anxious about exams and 2000-word assignments, but that's just child's play. Instead, your troubles revolve around job applications that ask for a four-page cover letter explaining 'teamwork'.
Fear not, though. If you've made it to your final year, odds are you’ve developed a few time management skills without knowing it. Pulling an all-nighter means you can meet tough deadlines. Skipping optional assignments means you know how to prioritise your duties. Don't be shy showing off your skills to potential employers; these tricks of the trade are just as useful in the workplace as in the classroom.
Everyone else on campus looks 14 years old
Pub crawls don't seem so cool anymore. If you do go out, you only go out once a week - if that. And instead of 21st parties, you might be getting invited to engagement parties and weddings.
If you're not deeply involved in a student club or student association, they seem kind of lame and pointless to you. By your final year, you probably recognise the importance of having a stable social life outside of strictly university-based social events.
You strut around like you own the place
Every part of campus is your very own stomping ground. Everyone dressed better than you is trying too hard, and everyone dressed worse than you is a slob. While most students complain about how packed the library is, you’re unfussed because most of your time is spent in a secret study spot that's quiet and always has free computers.
First-years are annoying because they think they know everything, but you find comfort in knowing the horrors that still await them.
Moving on is scary
You've come to terms with your horrible GPA and instead of complaining about it, you're figuring out how to explain it in job interviews. More importantly, though, you’re fantasising about the crazy antics you'll get up to on graduation day.
You might even be thinking about doing honours and writing a thesis because you'll miss the place too much if you leave. But let’s be honest: you’re probably more likely to be anxiously awaiting the day you won’t have to look at another exam paper again.
Sam Talbot is a law and media student at the University of Adelaide. He highly values all-day breakfasts. Twitter with him @SamTalbot5.