The beginning of the end? Advice for finalists

If you’re a finalist at Warwick, there’s always time to stretch yourself and enjoy university before you graduate! Emily shares her top tips to make final year as memorable as possible.

By Emily Alger.

When I began my final year at Warwick, I certainly had mixed emotions. I knew I was starting to feel ready to move on, but at the same time I certainly didn’t want to leave. Even though you’ve been at Warwick for at least two years, there is always more to learn. Whilst I was at Warwick, every year had a different feel and new skills to develop.

Here are my top tips to make your final year at Warwick a memorable one.

Keep getting involved

During my first few years at Warwick, I was incredibly involved with my societies and the Warwick community. However, as the years passed and friends had graduated, I felt more and more distant from Warwick. In final year, I certainly became more hesitant to take up opportunities and that is something I regret. I wish I had taken up exec positions or opportunities to teach younger students, but I was daunted by the final year workload.

Lots of people on the University of Warwick piazza, with buildings and a blue sky in the background.
Don’t let final year stop you from continuing your extra-curricular activities that may have made your university experience what it is. Image: University of Warwick.

Something I learnt at university is that you find the time for the things you want to do. I look back on first year and think “how did I fit it all in?”. Keeping busy really helped me build a dynamic timetable which kept me active and engaged at university. Even in final year, it is true that work should take precedent, but it shouldn’t control your timetable. Make sure to timetable in fun or opportunities to keep university as dynamic as it was in earlier years.

Don’t worry too much about the next step

At the start of the year, you could definitely feel applications in the air. Employers open up their graduate programmes very early on in the academic year, but you shouldn’t feel pressure to apply just because everyone else is. Some of my friends did apply at this time and found jobs early on in the year, but a lot of my friends didn’t. In fact, a lot of my friends found jobs or PhDs during Term 2, Term 3, or even after graduation. Don’t push yourself to find a job if you’re not ready or there isn’t anything that you’re interested in on the market. I have the mentality that everything happens for a reason, and the right thing will come. Although that can be hard to accept at times, it is often true.

Find a job on your terms and make sure you don’t jeopardise your university experience for applications. There should be time to balance both. 

Reflect on your university experience

Three people walking over a bridge, with a building in the background.
Make sure you take the time to fully reflect on your university experience. Image: University of Warwick.

University is a one-of-a-kind experience, something which I did not fully appreciate until after I graduated. Thousands of young people, brought together on one campus, sharing their passions and studying alongside each other. Once you move on from university, no one will get that experience again. University for everyone will be full of ups and downs and I think that’s worth thinking about. Looking back now, I think I romanticise my university experience to some extent. I became so comfortable that now, as I move on, I’m nervous about my next steps and how I’ll build friendships and communities within the big wide world.

I’d really encourage you to savour your final year at Warwick. It’s an experience like no other and you should certainly keep exploring and pushing your boundaries right until the end of the year. That being said, when you move on, remember university took some finding out. It’s easy for me to remember the best bits and harder to remember the homesickness and trepidation I had at the start. Those are feelings I feel again now as I take my next steps.

University is a small step on your path and something you should really get the most out of. Enjoy your final year, but look forward to the exciting years to come too!

If you’re not a finalist just yet, check out Emily’s tips for second year and first year students. Or if you are, and thinking about your future beyond Warwick, take a look at our blogs on careers here.

Are you a finalist? How are you finding it? Let us know on twitter @warwicklibrary and Instagram @warwicklibrary, or by emailing us at

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