university anxiety

As you know by the title, I am a university student, going into my final year. Whilst I was terrified to leave home for first year, I doubted my abilities in second year now I’m anxious about the final year. Is there any hope haha. They always tell you, “university will fly by”, well they weren’t wrong. Here I am starting my final year wanting to do it all again. Can I?

I started uni a completely different person to who I am now, back then I was a nervous insecure girl moving countries. Now I’m more confident, have been given opportunities that I would have never previously done before university. I probably will write another university related post, about what the experience has taught me. That’s for another day. But basically my point is that I’ve grown up over the last two years, however probably not enough to cope with my newly developed final year anxiety.

I started second year believing that I could only finish that year with a 2.1, my political knowledge and ability to write an academic essay was only up to that standard. I’ve always been that kind of way, doubting the skills and abilities that I possess. Thinking I was not able to push myself above that, however half way through the year I started to believe in myself. I knew I was good enough to get that first, so I pushed myself, I did everything I could to push into the 70% and above. Believing in yourself is key, I stopped my negative attitude and managed to secure a first class overall score for second year. I knew then I could push myself to do the same in my final year. I am committed to my goals no matter what.

Final Year Anxieties

Despite knowing what I want to achieve overall, I think the pressure of having to know my life plan at the age of 22 is rather stressful. As if I need any more of that stress. Since starting this new chapter in my life, the years have flew by and now I know that my final year here at university will also do the same. It is scary as I’m expected to have my life set out for the next 50 years. I’m sorry but I barely know what I want to make for dinner let alone my career for the rest of my life.

They always say to have goals, I am good at the short term goals. I write a list of things to achieve daily or monthly. I know the goal of this final year: to graduate with a first class honours. But long term career goals or life goals, that is a little difficult for me. In my life, things have always suddenly changed and threw my family’s plans off track. I guess since then, I’ve always struggled to stick to a long term goal because I worry that life will get in the way and change it up. But maybe that’s just the way life is supposed to go, and I’ve just got to live it.

People’s opinions

Since finding out that I am a final year student people suddenly seem interested in my overall life goals. Asking me what my life is going to look like after university. Not that it’s a bad thing, just stressful when you never know how to respond. Do I have career plans? Maybe a pathway to a graduate job? Am I moving back to Northern Ireland? How will my relationship pan out if so? Just questions that add to my final year anxieties.

I understand the curiosity that some people may have in my next chapter. Should I be planning the rest of my life right this second simply because I start my final year soon? I’m sure there are many people out there with the same issue. Struggling to cope with the questions, fears of the unknown and just university work in general. I know for me, I want to focus on just getting the work done. I love to study and write, it’s what I believe I’m good at. But I know throughout the year, we will have development days or workshops designed to kickstart that post-university thinking.

I’m already struggling with my dissertation and I haven’t even begun writing it yet. Having worked the entire summer on multiple jobs and volunteering in different sectors, trying to gain experience. Trying to find an answer to the “career path” questions, what do I want to do? I completely neglected reading for my dissertation. Is this just a sign that final year will be a tad annoying? Will I be highly stressed? Probably! This is the stage we all get to go through when at university I guess, aren’t we lucky? I can’t wait to get stuck in though! See what the year brings, and who knows I might even get over my final year anxieties.

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