Final year of university (How I Prepared)

Final year of university prep
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Welcome back to another blog post Hazards. As most of you will already be aware, two weeks ago I took a week off for personal reasons. Today I would like to share some of what I have been up to during that time. For you see by the time you read this post, I will have started my final year of university officially. To look at my journal so far I would suggest checking out my previous post after reading this one. In the past, I have gone into how I generally prepare. However, this post will specifically focus on my final year. This is because upon starting to prepare I realised how different the final year of university will be.

The reason that this year is so different is that I am preparing for two things. Not only have I had to prepare for my final year of study but also for graduation. The first thing that this post will detail is the preparation that I undertook for my final year. This will include the methods that I used and how it is different from previous years. Don’t forget that if you enjoy today’s post. Feel free to share on your social media, like the post or comment on your own experience. All of which is all free to do. And so before we get into things I would like to leave you with a simple quote. This quote I have lived by throughout my degree.

“Dreams and Dedication are a powerful combination”

~ William Longgood
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Preparing for the final year of University…

The first thing that I did whilst preparing for this year of study was to read through the module description. Each year I always start off by doing this so I get a rough idea of what to expect. I find that knowing what to expect by some degree always keeps my mind clear and at ease. The last thing that I want to happen is to cause myself more stress than necessary. Life can be stressful as it is in adulthood. So by taking the time to prepare I find it does limit stress for me. Limiting stress especially with everything I have going on right now was definitely the goal of my preparation. Especially after learning that the first 12 weeks of my course will average around 60 hours of study per week.

During previous years the time it takes to complete a weekly study usually averages 16 to 20 hours each week. However, with it being my final year I will be needing to put a lot more time into my studies. And upon completing my read-through of the module description I also learned how the number of assignments had changed. Usually having to complete around 5 assignments during each year including the final assignment of the years. I learned that this year doesn’t only include 6 assignments needing to be completed. But also a computer exam based upon statistical mathematics and the creation of my own psychological project.

Summer Preparations…

In all of my previous years of study, I have always taken the summer period off from studying. Usually, I will spend the summer resting and taking care of myself for the upcoming year. I tend to travel a lot during the summer and focus strictly on my own self-care. However, this year was definitely different to all of my previous years. I did manage to take time to myself and make some memories this summer but not as much as usual. This is because throughout the month of August I had to do some extra preparation provided by the University. This has never happened before but I had to spend a month preparing specifically for my upcoming psychological project.

During this time I also started the blog here which will be covering some of my project as it’s created. But learning about the three data collection methods available I was asked to choose which method I wanted to use. I have submitted my choice and further learned that the tutor I have been assigned this year is a specialist. And so whilst conducting my weekly studies I will also have to focus not only on completing my assignments. But I will have to take extra time to focus on creating and conducting my psychological project. Although it is not fully confirmed I do have a rough idea of the topic I want to cover. I am currently aiming to focus on whether the influence of society affects individual mindset and feelings.

Project Inspirations…

Since beginning my degree study five years ago I have developed a fascination with societal expectations. Noticing how much of an affect that society can have on the daily lives of countless individuals it was the perfect topic to choose for my project. Not only can I review data from this topic in many different ways meaning that no matter what I am not limiting myself. But also I have released that there are a lot of studies that have been made already that I can use as a background for my own work. Even though my specialisation is in forensic psychology I do believe that society can hold influence over the commitment of crimes too. And so this was definitely the beginning of my project preparation for my final year of University Study.

Most of my project inspiration has been gathered over my previous study. As well as through listening to ted talks throughout the summer period whilst working through the 4 week mini-course that I had to complete. The course was a brief refresher on the three data collection methods that we were needed to select between. Aimed to refresh the memory on what we have learned in the past studies about methods and what they are used for in a more specific manner. And now that my summer preparations have been discussed I would like to leave you with a little inspiration. I would like to share with you the work of American Psychologist Carol Dweck as she discusses the power of yet…

The Power of Yet – Carol Dweck Ted Talk

How the power of yet influenced my preparation in my final year of University

As mentioned in previous posts one thing that I often do during my study is reflection. I will self reflect at the end of each week in order to review my progress throughout the school year. However, since finding the work that Dr. Dweck does my reflections have definitely improved and become more positive. So, Instead of using phrases like I do not understand, I will add yet to the statements. After all which one would you prefer to see? I do not understand or I do not understand this yet? I have found that by adding yet it gives me the growth mindset that helps me to focus on expanding my knowledge instead of it being fixed by previous natural skills.

Over the past five years since starting my degree. I have come to discover that my mindset has also changed. However, I will discuss mindsets in an upcoming post as it would be too much to cover within this post. But now that we have discussed Dr. Dweck’s work briefly let us move on to discuss how I use this within my preparations. More specifically in the terms of how this has helped me to plan for my final year in general. We have already discussed the summer preparations. But now I would like to take you through how I have been spending the month running up to the start of the year preparing further.

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Homestretch Preparations

For the past month as I do every year I have been reviewing things and making my preparation checklist. Much like previous years the first thing I did was review how much study I will need to do each week. I find that by doing this I will give myself a rough idea on what supplies I will need for the year ahead. Knowing that I have more assignments to complete this year I listed everything down before getting to work on more preparations. This year, however, was definitely different with the way I prepare. With having a lot of things going on in my real life. Not forgetting the fact that this year is my final one at University. I put as much time as I could in to preparing to make the transition go smoother for me when beginning my final year.

For you see, a few months ago sadly my fathers alzheimers has began to progress rapidly. Because of this I almost never enrolled into my final year at all. But after a discussion with my father’s doctor I knew I had to do it now as it will only continue to get worse over time. And so my time this year will definitely be more limited than I had hoped for in the end. But I know I will do it and so let’s move on to how I spent my time preparing. I did not buy any extra supplies this year to begin with. The reason I decided on this was because of the following. With it being my final year I don’t want to waste any supplies that I purchase by not using them.

Organisation is key

Next up came the time to get organised for the year ahead. Focusing first on building up my folder for the final year of university. I took the time to print off all assignment and project guidance. Sorting them into the areas they needed to be in my folder was ready to start. Moving on to organise the module folder on my computer where I will be writing and storing all of my assignments and the project. This year the organisation was slightly different and a bit more extreme. This was because I felt the need to be as organised as possible. And plus there is one more thing that I have to prepare for outside of the year… Graduation!

With graduation looming on the horizon after this year is completed I needed to be aware of that. However, the focus on Graduation will come nearer the end of this school year. Reason being I don’t want to put any other expectations on myself that could affect the study growth. Each year I don’t really focus on getting a particular grade. I find that when I have done this in the past I will feel extremely disappointed if I don’t reach that goal. So, Instead my goal is to try my best and achieve the best grades that I can for each assignment. Finding that this tactic really helps to keep me motivated without adding the stress of expectations not being met. I don’t think I will be preparing this way for graduation as I do have expectations that I want to meet for that.

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Graduation Preparation during my final year of University

Being one of the only people in my family to achieve a degree the first thing I truly want is for graduation to be special. Not only for myself after all of the hard work and dedication I have had for the past 6 years. But also for those in my family and friendships who I am close enough with to celebrate this event in my life. And so I will be fully taking the time to prepare for my graduation nearer the end of my final year at University. However, I have started to look at graduation and what to expect already before the year begins. And to do this I have been using my universities ceremony page. On this page it gives students all the information they need in regards to planning and preparing for graduation.

For obvious reasons I haven’t been able to plan anything as of yet. However, I have been able to discover a rough idea of the ceremony dates and the price for guests to attend so far. At present my ceremony should be taking place in October 2022 on average. With not yet being able to book my place with the course not being completed. I have also discovered that on the day of graduation all graduates also receive a personalised shirt detailing the date of graduation listing who graduated as well. This prospect truly excites me as it will be another way to remember the special day.

Preparation after the year is complete

With not being able to prepare further until the year is completed I have looked into what needs to be done. The first thing I discovered further to the initial dates was the company I will need to hire my graduation gown through. Deciding to begin my hiring process around next July so I have the time to save up for pricing. I have looked into how much exactly I need to have saved and what graduation services that they offer. Instead of buying the cap and gown to keep I will be hiring it and collecting at the actual ceremony itself for convenience. That way on the day of graduation everything will be at the venue for ease of access. Especially as the place I will be graduating from is around 2 hours minimum away from where I currently reside.

So to make it easier I plan to organise everything to be at the venue on the actual day of graduation. Another thing I am looking into hiring is photography for the day. I have a few friends who are photographers, however, I learned that Raven and Eves where I will be hiring my gown from also specialise in Photography. That way at least they will all be at the venue for when I arrive making things so much easier and that actually brings us to the end of today’s post.

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