Time Management in the Final Semester

Well, I am a few weeks into my last semester of graduate school and I’m both happy to report and surprised to say that I am not too stressed out! No really, I’m hanging in there! Though I envisioned a semester of staying up until the wee hours simultaneously studying and applying for jobs, as well as waking up in night terrors that I had forgotten an assignment- all while watching my social life fade into the background- it has not played out quite like that. Though graduate school may sound daunting, especially the final semester, this is where UNC differs from other programs.
The support that I have received from the School of Social Work, as well as my individual professors here at UNC, has been incredible. Upon leaving for Winter break, there were various workshops the school held that aimed to help you made the most of your time off, all in preparation for the busy final semester. There were research preparation meetings held every third Monday of each month during the Fall semester, resume building workshops, and workshops that focused on how to make the most of your winter break to prepare for the job search. Regardless of all the courses that we are still enrolled in, many final semester students find a big distraction to be the job search! We are in the final run and would love to find meaningful employment before graduation. I feel strongly that taking advantage of these workshops, as well as following their advice (meet with Career Services over winter break, revise your resume, draft a few cover letters, organize references, start applying for jobs!) is what has helped me to feel confident that I am headed in the right direction after graduation.
In addition, I feel that my professors have kept our best interest at heart. The elective courses are designed so that students can take short courses during this semester- I was even able to enroll in a policy course that was an online, 5-week course! Though these classes are still hard work and meaningful, they allow students the flexibility with time dedication that many of us need during this stressful time.
Last, I have been surprised to see how much my social life has still been able to thrive during this time! I have been able to meet prospective students, speak with foundation year students about their potential field placements, and attend workshops that have assisted in my professional development. I have been able to hang out more with my friends, catch up with long-lost volunteers from my past, host a birthday party for the January birthdays in my cohort, spend some quality time with my baby niece, and make sure there is enough time every night to play fetch with my two crazy dogs at home. On top of all this, I am planning a May wedding! Yes, life is crazy, but that is true no matter what your life consists of. If you have questioned whether UNC is right for you, or even if graduate school is a possibility, please don’t question it any further before contacting our Admissions crew and setting up a meeting to see what our program is about. Every bit of stress that I have encountered over the last year has been met with support from my peers and faculty at UNC- and will definitely be worth it come May graduation.

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