How to Prepare for Third Year

how to prepare for third year at university

First of all I feel writing a post called how to prepare for third year is slightly misleading, as I’m not sure I know how to prepare for third year. But over the past two years I’ve definitely learnt how to be prepared for a term. I’ve also learnt that it really back fires if you don’t prepare!

So from what I’ve learnt so far, this is exactly what I’m going to do to prepare for the final year of my English degree.

How to prepare for third year at University

Read your books

Let me tell you something, I have never been able to read two books that I’m assigned in a week, unless it’s poetry as that’s doable. It’s not realistic to read and analyse two books per week to university standard as well as read the long list of secondary criticism set for the seminar. It saves time during term, which means you can spend more times with your friends.

Make a to do list 

Yes, a very long list of things to do can be daunting, but I find by writing everything that I have to do down then I don’t have to panic that I’ve forgotten something.

I also split the list up into different sections such as my modules, the dissertation, extra curricular things I have lined up and a section for things I’d like to start. I also have to have a budget and health section as I like to try and get into good routines in the first week of university as it’s so easy to get into bad routines

Get advice 

I think this is potentially the most important thing I’ve done throughout my time at university, talking to other people who have studied the same course or at the same university. It’s helpful to hear someone else’s experience and how they overcame or dealt with whatever university crisis that you’re having at the moment. It is so so helpful and reassuring.

Equally get advice about your dissertation topic or about writing a dissertations in general. I found it helpful to discuss my ideas with someone else who shared my passion for the subject, as it gives you a good boost before speaking to your supervisor.

Do a close reading of your dissertation texts

This was actually recommended to me by a friend of mine and it makes so much sense. Before first term read through your dissertation text/s and find extracts that you think are important towards your general idea. Then do a close reading of this section so that you have done a considerable amount of work for your dissertation already. It will save you time later.

Also, you will already have some themes and ideas picked out from which you can source your secondary criticism.

Make a list of things you want to do at university

At one of the many pre-drinks last year one of my old flatmate’s showed me a list he’d made of all the things he wanted to do at university and his friend was making sure he did every single one of them. I thought that this was genius! So myself and my gals are each making a list of what we want to do in third year and however random, stupid, challenging, adventurous they are we have to make sure we all complete our lists.


This final one I’ve just added on as actually it’s something I’ve done a lot of too – switching off completely. I mean watching TV shows, reading your favourite books, films, reading blogs, scrolling on Pinterest for ages, going for walks, swimming, jogging, sitting with your dogs, cats, bunnies.

Whatever chills you out, just find it and relax.

How do you prepare for third year?

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