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How to make the most of your last semester

February 25, 2019

By Hannah Bourke

If you are nearing the end of university like me and having trouble wrapping your head around just how fast these last four or five years went by, starting to panic about what is coming next, then know that you are not alone - I am too!

When I stop and think about it, my first day here seems like just yesterday, like I’m sure it does for many of you too. Sometimes it feels like so much has happened and changed in the last four years that I forget all of the wonderful things that I have been a part of.

Fourth year is stressful. Not only are the expectations from profs and workload massive as we wrap everything up, but the stress of looking for a job is also looming over our shoulders, and it's starting to hit me that everything I’ve known for the past four years is coming to an end. Some of my friends or maybe even you are moving away, and I will likely never be back here again, in this place I’ve called home.

Maybe there's a little excitement for this chapter in my life to end, and while it is really exciting as the unknown lies ahead, it can also be a really overwhelming transition period. Below are 5 ways to practice gratitude in the midst of all the stress, maybe even knock off a few bucket list items before our time is finished at the university, and tips on how to “soak it all in” before it’s too late.

Attend school events


There are a lot of fun things happening on campus, especially in the winter semester. I know it can be hard to find time to attend events, but they are great ways to relieve stress, have some fun, and interact with people who are all experiencing the same kinds of things as you - something that might not be as easy to do when you are no longer in university. I find the Ontario Tech Undergraduates page useful for findings things to do on campus.

Take lots of pictures


This is a time in your life that we will look back and want to remember. Take pictures of you and your friends, your environment, your surroundings and all of the events you go to! It’s a fun way to remember what life was like at that time. Because remembering every detail isn’t that easy!

Try to relax from time to time


The bummer about being a student is that we probably spend half our time actually doing our assignments and studying and then the other half of our time planning out your calendar for other times we are going to have to work on this or that. I like to use Sunday to take some time to relax, doing whatever things I actually want to do. It helps to make my last couple of months of school not feel so dreary.

Take advantage


All of those services we pay for in our tuition sometimes go unused throughout our university career. I'm taking these last few months to take advantage of EVERYTHING that’s included. That means hitting up all those Student Learning Centre workshops, meeting with a career counsellor, getting your resume and cover letter perfected, going to the doctor, getting your teeth cleaned, and using the gym. Why not, am I right?

Appreciate your friends


I'm taking time this semester to appreciate my friends and make time in my schedule to spend some quality time together. This is one of the only times in my life that I actually have time to spend with them, even if I feel like I don’t. In a couple of years, I don't want to look back and regret not spending more time with them.

I hope you can take some of my tips here and apply them to your own life to help you make the most of your last semester here. Take it all in, grads! We are almost at the finish line.