Take-home Notes for Final Year Students
A big thank you to all who helped made this article happen, especially those that were "interviewed".
"Time's up! Stop writing, put down your pens and check that you've written your names while waiting for your answer sheets to be collected."
Everyone would be very familiar this instruction and the feelings of relief (or panic) which comes with it. Such feelings don't really change over time, until one finishes their final paper/exam in university. But unlike those who will have years still left in finishing up their education, these group of Neopians won't be going out to celebrate the way their juniors would.
Most would've by now be able to guess who these Neopians are (if the title didn't already giveaway the answer). As final year students in Brightvale University start (or started) their final year of tertiary education, some would surely feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done within this year. Papers upon papers of thesis and project proposals drafts can make a university student feel like they are drowning in a sea of work and that is not even half of it... These students still have to prepare themselves for their exams! So what does a final year Neopian university student do in nightmarish times like this?
"Work on your final project/dissertation/thesis/etc. little and often. Break it up into tiny chunks, focus on one at a time so that you won't get overwhelmed. Also for the topic, make sure to pick one that you're interested in and will enjoy researching because otherwise it'll just be a chore," says Seri, a graduate in Masters of Arts in Ancient Tribal Studies of Meridellian and Brightvalian Regions who also happen to be reading an interesting looking book when approached for this interview.
Interesting books aside, this is an extremely useful piece of advice that comes together with a reminder that "All work and no play makes Jack/Jill a dull Neopian". There are many students who are so intent on achieving the best of results that they can and do forget that about Life outside the lecture halls and libraries. That's something His Royal Highness, King Hagan will not want from any graduates of Brightvale University. But how can this danger be avoided other than going Meepit-raving mad from everything else that needs to be done?
"Don't drop out of societies/extracurricular/social life in favour of holing yourself up in your room with your dissertation. You'll burn out much faster if you unbalance yourself like that," quipped Emma, graduate in both Bachelor of Sciences in Robotics Programming and Archaeology when the search for a snack found yours truly and the Science graduate in Neopia Central's Bakery.
The simple, sensible suggestion that sums up the advice from these two graduates in Sciences and Arts also makes it clear for final year students that it does well for them to manage their time wisely; a skill which they will have to carry on into their lives as employable Neopians. And speaking of those dreaded horrors which are Meepits, graduate in Bachelor of Sciences in Wastewater Management Dillibean has this to say about the whole thing when approached after a nose-wrinkling round of Sewage Surfer:
"Don't let the Meepits steal your juice snacks. Fuel up well to feed your brain, I'd recommend the Health Food shop. Always take a wheel of excitement break, cause' the wheel of monotony gets boring. Don't be afraid to join a guild, good friends will help you through study sessions. Also, there is no magic wheel of knowledge to boost your intelligence, study books often." Looks like Plumber Extraordinaire Matt may have some competition if these brilliant pointers are of any indication!
That all being said and done... Upon passing through the hurdles of projects and exams, most final year students can be glad that they won't have to ever slave over an assignment or sit for another examination like the one they did. If all goes well they will graduate without much fuss and for the exceptional some, with flying colours. Despite coming from the one and only Neopian University though, one can be sure that these graduates-to-be will be nervous and wondering what should be their next step for the next "exam" that Life throws their way.
This will after all, not only be an exciting, but also a confusing and chaotic period where they'll have to consider many options and make plenty decisions (and it won't be their last!) like applying for jobs, accepting said offers and for some, moving to another city or country different from their own. Being inexperienced in many ways, these greenhorns to society as educated and functioning Neopians will need some pointers that can help them keep afloat in this uncertain point in their lives.
For most, it'll be their first job and may or may not feel confident of their capabilities. For some, it won't be their first time as they may have worked someplace else before graduating. Regardless whether or not it will be their first time however, graduate in Masters of Education in Educational Leadership in Higher Education, Treeword believes that "one should never stop learning" when approached for an interview during an exercise session to "work off the midnight snacking". After all, it's only when you learn more do you realise that how little one knows actually... whether it be knowing how to handle a demanding client or making sure tasks are properly done by the deadline. But the good thing about this is, one will inevitably improve. Especially if one is willing to admit that he/she is not good enough yet.
On that note, Crimson; graduate in Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, currently employed as a Neopian Resources manager quotes "The turning point, I think, was when I really realized that you can do it yourself. You have to believe in yourself because sometimes, that's the only person who does," while fiddling with one of those nifty Virtupets gadgets before going on to exhort: never to wait for someone else to validate what one does or want to do and to pave your own path. This rings true for any undertaking recent graduates will do in the near and distant future as sometimes, one tends to forget of what one is capable of and be too hard on one's self when failing at something.
With all these tips from their seniors to note and mull over, many final year students can put their minds to rest (for the time being!) to take on the crazy, harrowing but memorable final year of their tertiary education with zeal and confidence. One thing for sure, this period of time happens but once (unless Life has other plans...) and these students should take all in while they can. As Bachelor in Environmental Studies in Geography and Climatology graduate Kate puts in beautifully amidst all the grunts from the weightlifters in a gym "Enjoy it because it goes by way too fast, and you will miss it. Soak in all of the knowledge, make as many friends as you can. Be spontaneous, say yes to everything."
yin_yin_7 (Amaya), final year student in Physiotherapy Sciences hopes to be able to survive the ordeal and process of a 6000 words project proposal to be able to survive the final exams later on.