Having a 4 year course and a year out is a bit like having a gap year, just with all the work. But in some ways its good to have a year out from uni. While all my friends back in England are completing their final year and writing their dissertations and revising hard and partying hard and applying for grad schemes and masters, I've still got all that to come. First year of uni was really good, second year was even better. I really want to make the most of my final year, and here's how I think you can get the most out of your time at university:
JOIN CLUBS & SOCIETIES
But also don't be afraid to quit them. In first year I was a pretty active member of the Riding Club. At the start I loved it, but after a weeks it became really cliquey, where if you weren't on the team or on the exec committee (funnily enough this was the same group), you were looked down upon. I don't regret joining the club, I made some good friends with the other members and I enjoyed the riding, but it really wasn't the friendliest of clubs and I didn't go back second year.
Instead I joined Polo Club so I could still get my dose of horsiness. It was a much friendlier club, everyone was on the team if they wanted to be and I never once felt unwelcome. I also absolutely love playing polo and the team aspect of it. I also got much more involved with German Society and became a lot closer with my course mates and had an awesome few days on Tour in Berlin.
So, join loads of clubs and societies, it doesn't matter when, just go. You'll know pretty quickly whether you'll fit in or not, and if you're not really loving it, don't be afraid to leave and find your place somewhere else!
ALMOST ALWAYS SAY YES
Say yes to almost all opportunities. Some of them won't come by again. But don't be afraid to say no too. Got an essay due in in a couple of days and your flatmates really want you to go out? Don't be afraid to say no. Balance is important guuuys.
TRY NEW THINGS
Never played polo? Go to the taster session. I never thought I'd be any good at it, but it turned out I wasn't bad. Without uni, I almost definitely would never have got the chance to play polo. Make the most of it by trying something new, especially during the first couple of weeks with all the taster sessions. You might hate it, you might absolutely love it. Just try it!
LIVE IN STUDENT ACCOMMODATION
If you can, do it. Just do it. Living with so many other students has its drawbacks (don't ever expect a spotless kitchen) but it is soooo much fun. You will meet loads of people. You will get woken up at 4am by a fire alarm because someone's come home drunk and burnt their chicken dippers, but you'll be standing in a freezing car park in your pjs with people who you might be friends with for the rest of your life.
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR FREE TIME
You get sooo much free time at uni. It may not seem like it when you're surrounded by deadlines but you get the longest summer holiday, and more time during the week. Now I'm working Monday - Friday 9 - 6 with an hour commute either way, not so much free time. Don't just sit in your room studying, pretending to study, watching Netflix and browsing Facebook. Get out, go to places, meet people, travel, volunteer, get a part time job, do extra curricular stuff, draw, read, blog even. You probably won't have this much time on your hands again until you retire...
DO A YEAR ABROAD
Some courses have the opportunity of a third year in industry or study abroad. If you can study abroad, just do it. I've learnt so much from living in a different country, and I think it's something everyone should do. Yes it's scary, it's hard but it's so much fun too. And you'll have the university to support you too.
In summary, my advice would be just to get involved as much as you can. University is not just about studying. I've always said even if I didn't get anything out of university with my degree, I would never regret going as I've had some amazing opportunities and experiences, and I'm not going to waste a second of my final year.