How to Stay Organised in Your Final Semester
“Organised” and “final semester” are words that you may not think go together very well; at least not at first glance. Even so, they’re words that need to be pushed together, some way or another. It’ll make the final, terrifying semester feel far more manageable; the finish line will seem reassuringly attainable.
But while you juggle extra reading, a handful of deadlines and a million other commitments, it’s going to be a good idea to stay organised. Not only for the sake of your grade, but for the sake of your well-being. So how can you do this?
When at university, you’re handed a level of independence you’ve likely not experienced before. Your parents can’t intervene in your plans or how you choose to prioritise. If you want to ditch your assignment for a few pints, they can’t stop you. In your last semester, however, it’s a wise idea to channel parent-like wisdom. Here’s how:
Say no to plans
This doesn’t mean you should say no to all social outings; you should especially be making time for final events with your societies and friends. It is, though, important to remember this last semester counts. You have plenty of time to spend meaningful time with your friends once you’ve sat your last exam or handed in that last essay. This will be time that won’t be plagued by essay and study guilt, too.
Allocate time logically
There’s no use in putting off the scariest projects, assignments and revision if the deadline is fast approaching. It’s wise to start each piece of work as soon as possible, but also in a way that doesn’t feel overbearing. Organise your time so that each piece of work should be done with plenty of time left to edit or go back over.
Keep your study books close; keep your to-do list closer
To-do lists are the secret lifesavers of final year students; so long as though you keep them reasonable and feasible. While your to-do list probably shouldn’t have just the one task on it, nor should it have too many tasks. Ultimately, to-do lists hold you accountable. As long as they’re thorough but fair, you won’t forget or neglect any work. You’ll certainly feel a well-earned sense of achievement once you tick something off.
Look after yourself
Your health─physical and mental─is of the utmost importance; just like it always should be. You shouldn’t dismiss fatigue, illness or struggles with mental health for the sake of getting an essay done. In doing this, you risk running yourself into the ground and that’s certainly no use in your final year at uni. So how can you look after yourself?
Brain power is reliant on your lifestyle; especially what you eat. Make filling and nutritious meals; eat fruit and pick your food consciously. Drink lots of water; hydration is the key to a functioning brain. Exercise can also stimulate your brain positively. Choosing to live healthily is helpful in staying organised as, the more energetic you are, the more you can get done.
Talk to people
It can be really damaging to lock yourself away from the world throughout the last semester at university. Call your family in the evenings, talk to friends who understand your stress and, if what you’re feeling could require medical attention, see your GP.
Your mental health is as important as your physical. Both of these need to be safeguarded in the most important semester of your life. If your stress levels and mental health isn’t nurtured as much as possible, your organisation could be damaged.
No student should dismiss the importance of breaks. The most effective way of burning out entirely is by working non-stop and insisting a break isn’t the cure. Regular breaks are essential in your final semester at uni and vital in keeping your organisation on track.
Catch those Zzz…
A good night’s sleep is also underrated. Switch off properly before you head to bed─no revision, no phone and no laptop─and set yourself up properly for the next day of hard work. The more refreshed you are, the more productive and organised you’ll be.
Staying organised during your final semester can be hard; it can seem impossible. However, doing so will keep you focussed and ready for each new day of essay-writing and exam-revising.