5 Things I’m Told as a Final Year Student

As a final year student, I find that everyone has some advice or remarks to give you. At this
point, I’ve stopped telling anyone who doesn’t already know that I’m in my last year.
Why? Because usually they decide to give me unwanted advice.
I know
You’re probably thinking I should be grateful for it. That it might just be the most life
changing advice I’ll ever hear. However, that’s not the case. It’s never life changing, I’m
never left blown away. Usually, it’s not even advice, just remarks about my college life.
Afterwards I’m not inspired, instead my head is throbbing, my stress level has risen and now
I’m confused.
So here are 5 things people have told me

1. “You have to do a masters”
Yes, the big one. The Masters.
The thing every final year students has thought about at least ten times a day. What to study?
Where to do it? The cost of it? If you should do it?
We already know, Masters are beneficial. We know, we’re constantly reminded by all the
talks, the career meetings etc.
However, doing a master’s is not for everyone and that’s okay.
The main thing I’ve learned from attending talks, jobs fairs etc is that there are other
options that no one tells you about or that you should look into like graduate programs.
These are great opportunities to work with companies straight after your undergraduate, to
get trained up and into a job.
A masters is not your only route, and if you want to do one; you have all the time in the
world.

2. “Study hard or you’ll regret it”
The ‘Study hard’ lecture no one wanted to attend. It’s Pandora’s box really, it brings on so
many other questions regarding your study habits, how long you’re in the library. It’s not like
us final year students don’t realize we have to work.
We know we do, in fact most of us are swimming in essays and presentations, the library is
our home. I shouldn’t have even gotten accommodation this year, I spend more time in the
library than I do at my very costly, overpriced student accommodation.
Our grades are important, I’m not paying all this money to fail but we’re already stressed,
don’t make it worse.

3. “Find your niche”
Find your love, passion etc. Find what you want to do. The answer everyone thinks your
going to have, expects you to have because you’re in final year after all! The truth is, a lot of
the time, we have no idea. Everyone is different, some people know exactly what they want

to be, they have a ten-year plan, whereas the rest of us are winging it day by day. Finding
your calling or ‘vocation’ isn’t easy, some people don’t figure it out until later in life. It’s not
something you can learn to do, you either like something or you don’t. We know we have
deadlines or programs applications etc, we know it helps to know what we what to do. Your
‘advice’ isn’t helping, it’s stressful.

4. “Remember, keep on top of your work or you’ll fall behind”
The sister to the “Study hard” remark. The more annoying advice, almost stating the obvious.
It’s hard not to remember to do our work, it’s not like Moodle has it in big red writing on the
side of the screen when I’m overdue an essay. The constant reminders in lectures about the
deadline and how much the assignment is worth. In fact, I would like to point out that falling
behind in final year would properly mean not graduating, at least if you have a thesis due.
Good luck getting ten thousand words wrote in one night.

5. “Don’t take a year out, you won’t come back, go straight on and do your Masters”.
This one stresses me out. Its easy to say go straight to a masters but not everyone can afford
to do this. Many of us must take a year out to work. The fact your telling us we may never go
back to college because we took one year back is very unfair. Yes, some people may not go
back, but generalising that to every single one of us is stressful, especially when someone is
already unsure about taking a year out or not. If you have personal experience with taking a
year out, please explain to me your reasons but otherwise don’t just assume because may
cause anxiety to the person.

As final year student who has listened to a lot of advice from a lot of different people, the
advice I’d give to you, would be to breath. It all works out. It’s not the end of the year if you
take a year out, you can come back again. If you decide to do a masters, then listen to
yourself, not everyone else around you.
It’s a decision that you must make for yourself, not for anyone else.