I’ve been staring at my blog for a while trying to figure out why I haven’t written anything in almost a month and to be honest, I think it’s because there just isn’t anything that exciting going on in my life right now. I am now in the final throes of my Imperial career and all I’m doing is writing my dissertation and trying to find a job! I’m sure nobody really wants to hear about the ins and outs of my trips between my house, the library, my house, sainsburys, the library, my bed, the library etc etc. So instead of boring you, let me give you some insider tips on how to care for the final in your life.
1. Stop asking them what their plans for next year are. Many of them just don’t know and it’s stressful enough trying to navigate this term with the threat of unemployment looming large as they write their dissertations and do their lab projects without literally every single person they know asking what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives. Do you know how many times a week they plaster on the fake grin as yet another person asks that dreaded question? TOO MANY TIMES.
2. Ask them if they’re sleeping and eating. For many, this is the time of year where they move into Central Library and cut off all contact with the outside world. This isn’t sustainable behaviour. Please ask them if they’re doing all the regular stuff that humans need to do in order to stay alive and functioning, and if they’re not doing that stuff, stage an intervention.
3. Ask them if they need any snacks, dinner, tea etc. If you’re in a house with someone who is finishing their degree this year, chances are they’d appreciate the odd cup of tea or some dinner that they didn’t have to prepare themselves. It’s also a good way to get your final year to spend time around other humans and not go crazy whilst holed up in their room for hours at a time.
4. Check on their emotional wellbeing. All joking aside, final year is a tough time. A lot of changes and big decisions happen this year and some people find this harder than others. Make sure your final year is doing ok and if they’re not, offer them a shoulder to cry on and/or point them towards the services that can help them.
5. Be patient with them. Your final year may be particularly flaky during this time and they may be conspicuously absent from regular hangouts and society meetings. Don’t stop inviting them, but be aware that they’re under a lot of pressure and can’t necessarily be as present as they once were. They still love you and they’re probably gutted that they can’t hang out. Propose hang ins instead. Everyone needs to eat, so invite them for dinner and a film or something like that – less intense and leaves them more time to hit their desks again afterwards.
Caring for your final year is an important part of your friend job description so if you have one in your life, make sure to apply these top tips. And for the final years: I know it’s tough. But we’re nearly there. Keep going.