After a yearlong hiatus from college (some may know it as a leave of absence), recently I have found myself reflecting on the trials and tribulations which we face as penultimate and final year students, or as I like to call it, the November Blues. It is bitterly cold outside, all your spare time is spent in the library finishing assignments and preparing for late midterms and the work doesn’t seem to stop piling up. I am lucky that I receive constant hints and tips from my friends who have graduated and have gone on to bigger and better things but for some reason, even though we do all know it will be okay in the end, it’s often quite difficult to get yourself into the mindset that the never-ending to do list will come to an end.
Different college courses have different splits of ‘what counts’ towards your final end mark/ degree classification, for example, as an Animal Science Equine student mine is split 45:55 between third and fourth year. This is important to think about and it is wise to speak to your programme office sooner rather than later regarding calculating what GPA you need to aim towards and figuring out what is achievable for you, ultimately, don’t worry about what your classmates or friends are doing but do listen to their sides of the story.
It’s completely understandable if you sometimes feel like it’s all a bit too much; just remember it’s okay not to always feel overly confident) trust me, been there, and got the t-shirt!). Equally it’s more than okay to share any burdens you may have with people you trust. Whether that be a parent, a sibling, your best friend, or even the welfare officer or a class tutor, the list goes on, and no doubt they will be relieved more than anything at knowing you feel you can talk to them.
And then there is the constant niggling question of ‘what to do next?’ — the cause to some of my many late nights lying awake in bed. With different variations to the unknown, some people have an ultimate career mapped out they just don’t know hoe to go about it, others genuinely have no idea what they may potentially want to pursue, I am in the latter half. Nonetheless it’s important to remember that whatever you choose to do next doesn’t necessarily have to be what you will do until the end of time; it may just be a stepping-stone to the next opportunity.
All in all your college years can potentially be the best years of your life. Try not to get to bogged down in the end result. Do the work but know when to let your hair down too, which doesn’t always have to mean going out and coming home at all hours unable to do any college work for the next two days! Balance your college work with your part-time work, with training, and most of all with friends. Whatever your thing is, make time for it, whether it be kicking a ball around with the lads, heading for a long walk on the beach, organizing an event with your society committee, or preparing a feast for your housemates, remember to keep balanced and to keep happy.
Until next time…