December 5, 2018, by Carla Froggatt
Application Stress Weighing You Down? Don’t Worry, You’re Not Alone
By Imogen Daldy, BA French and History, final year
“That takes my grad scheme application count to 27 now” you hear the girl sat behind you announce to her friend. Your heart sinks further when she says, “Plus I’ve been invited to three interviews already!”
For a lot of final years, the pressure to secure a post-graduation career before Christmas is snowballing. I know this because I am one of those final years.
From the moment term started, it seemed that searching for grad schemes, filling out application forms, doing online tests, writing cover letters, and developing my CV was becoming as time-consuming as an actual degree module. The notion that everyone else was on top of things and making progress was only making me feel more panicked, despite the amount of time I was giving to my ‘career module’.
But fret not fellow job seekers…
The fact of it is that actually, most of us are in the same boat, and this is totally okay.
I discovered this when one day, after completing another time-consuming application, I finally vented my frustration to one of my housemates. I was pleasantly surprised to hear, “Oh thank god I’m not the only one, I’m so worried I won’t have enough time for uni work!”
This made me think, maybe I’m not the only one who feels guilty when late at night I give in to sleep instead of starting another task on my to-do list.
The point is, it’s no good suffering in silence
It’s actually really helpful talking to people going through the same thing as you. Since then, my housemates and I often share tips and advice from our own experiences, and this has been really beneficial for all of us in terms of keeping calm and optimistic when starting an application and thinking about the future in general.
This made me wonder what else I could do to keep stress to a minimum around deadline season, both for applications and uni assignments. I know that feeling of having too much to do and too little time to do it well by now. My recommendation would be this:
Add ‘career module’ time into your existing timetable
This way, the worry of when to sit down and do it will cease to loom over you. For example, I fitted in a personal careers appointment during an hour gap between classes. Not only did this give me direction and focus for my applications, but I then felt able to dedicate two hours to a history essay I had due without an encroaching guilt that I was ignoring my other responsibilities.
What I’m trying to say is that as students, we know that it’s hard balancing our academic, social, and now ‘work’ lives. It is normal to feel stressed about this but there are ways to combat it. Talk openly with your friends and family, utilise resources like the Careers and Employability Service, and compartmentalise your time. Because in the end, we will all find our futures, and although challenging, we should aim to remember our final year as a fun and rewarding rather than stressful and overwhelming.
Are you struggling to juggle applications with University work? We can help you. Book an appointment.