|You're never too old for a birthday cake|
I'm especially guilty of looking back over terms and wondering what I did besides work. Luckily I've got my diary and a couple of photos to prove that I did leave my laptop/ the library, but it was genuinely quite a tough term. In eight weeks I did most of the primary research for, and wrote up twelve thousand words, as well as attending some classes for another paper and lectures. So exhausting that I still feel like I'm recovering from it, and the idea of starting revision for my finals exams is...well, overwhelming. I think making a timetable and just listing everything on paper, rather than in my head, will help.
Yesterday I started panicking about how much I had to do, and so instead of a to-do list for revision, I wrote a list of things I've already done; notes summarised, revision cards made, online resources created (I mainly use Quizlet, a free revision-card making website). It was reassuring actually, and I'd recommend it. Now to fill the gaps...
|These cheered up my windowsill considerably|
When I wasn't working on my thesis I was writing applications for internships and graduate schemes for this summer and beyond. This meant that there was a two week period where I was getting about six hours of sleep a night and spending about ten or eleven hours a day in front of my laptop. It was pretty grim. However, I maintain that it was a good use of time, even if so far I've only had one interview, and one straight out rejection. Rejections can be good, they remind us that we're not superhuman, we have to deal with disappointment in a productive way, and being rejected from one thing means I'll be more grateful when I eventually get something. Also, rejections narrow down my choices, as does the passing of time, so inevitably, I tell myself, I am working towards something, I just don't quite know what it is yet!
The last two years I've been very lucky in that I've had summer internships lined up by mid-March. This year I'm trying to teach myself a lesson in patience, and hope to receive some more news in the next few weeks. I think that I'm particularly keen to get something sorted for the summer because I'm aware that after June ends, I am done with university (for now, as I haven't applied to any Master's programmes) and so 'the real world' awaits. Or something like that. Alternatively, I think I should still be trying to focus on the next six months as a unit of time, rather than thinking that a single internship is going to determine my entire working life.
I guess this is the sort of thing that all final year university students struggle with. Finally I empathise. Dividing my time between applications, coursework and having a vague social life is hard, but I think I did the best that I could at the time. Now I've just got to see how it all pays off.
|Exeter college chapel|
I know I'll find a way, eventually. I know that most final year university students feel like this at some point. Being bored and distracted is just as hard as being overwhelmed with things to do, and thus also distracted. In the same way, it's easy to forget about the long-term (e.g., in three months' time, my exams will have ended and I will have something planned for the summer). I've also become obsessed with checking my emails every half an hour in case there's any news. I think the next step is to set myself small, achievable, short-term goals, by day, by week, by month and then up until the end of this vacation.
Better get to it!