There are so many posts about starting university and 'life as a fresher' and I have written my fair share but for those of you now going into your last year of University I thought I'd impart some wisdom...
So if you don't know I did a Costume and Performance Deign Degree which had no exams, so every project we did counted towards our final grades. On any Art related Degree you'll be told by all of your tutors how fast the year will go and how busy you'll be and they are not wrong! Here are some tips I'd share for your last year of University.
Start Straight Away
Start your Dissertation in the Summer if that's possible, the researching takes such a long time! When you come back to University into the third year it seemed to take a couple of weeks to settle back into the routine of working. Try and just get back into the university working schedule straight away and don't put anything off! I found that I finished my first project of year three quite quickly and I could have started my Final Major Project sketchbook early as I already knew what I wanted to do. So have a think if you can get ahead.
Organise everything! Get yourself a diary and make Aims for each day. This could be finish first section of sketchbook, buy thread or even do the laundry! If you have aims and something to tick off you'll feel in control of the situation and like you've had a successful day. There is nothing worse than doing a long 9-5 university day and feeling like you've done nothing! At the beginning of the week sit down and set yourself realistic tasks to meet each day and think, what stage of the project do you want to be at by next week.
Work Hard, Play Hard
This may sound strange, but I really think one of the main reasons I got through my Final Major Project so calmly, was the fact that I took breaks. When it was University hours I worked incredibly hard and would break for around 30 minutes for lunch. When it came to the weekends I made sure I left my room and did something fun. Your University degree is obviously really important and you want to do well but working 100% of your time doesn't mean you'll do any better than working 75%. Giving yourself a break not only lets you put your project into perspective and look at it with a fresh pair of eyes, it also allows you to relax and regain some energy!
Art Degrees are stupidly expensive! If you want financial freedom with your Final Major Project try and start saving each month. I didn't factor in printing and binding costs and I can't believe how much it all came to!
Don't Fear Having Help
If you're finding it all a bit too much just have a chat with your tutors. Of course chatting with friends is always nice but I do find they can sometimes turn into rants and more stressing. Whilst a quick discussion with a tutor can completely calm you down and solve any of your worries!
Enjoy Yourself.... Obviously
One of the best bits of advice I learnt from my tutor was 'at the end of the day it's only a frock'. Don't get too worked up about your project and think what it really is. This should be something that you enjoy doing and you want to leave Uni on a high!
I wish you all the best with your last year at University!