Welcome to the roller coaster that is your final year in college! Before we get into it, give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far! Unfortunately there are hard times ahead, but you'll get through it... not quite unharmed. Fear and loathing are just two of things to expect in your final year of college, there are many many more...
Why not feel superior? You've made it through countless battles with word count, have had numerous all-nighters with exams and your liver is still intact! That's a celebration within itself. You feel confident in knowing that you're ready to take on the year ahead of you, excited about your future beyond the walls of third level education. All you have is just a few more months and you're free.
BUT WHAT IF EVERYTHING GOES HORRIBLY WRONG? AM I EVEN DOING THIS ESSAY PROPERLY? WHEN IS THE DEADLINE? Yes there will be times when you'll question everything. This is perfectly normal, and you're not alone. Talk to anyone in your class about it, they'll be going through the same doubts. Keep all your class guidelines and assignment/exam dates handy in case of meltdown.
Most of the time you're trying to focus on getting your grades up, or even just trying to get everything in on time, that showering does take a back seat, especially around exam time. Look around you, everyone looks (and smells) like shit. At this point in the year, it's perfectly acceptable.
Minor Weight Gain
You're a stronger person than most if you can retain your paleo diet throughout final year. A lot of the time between studying and procrastinating you'll find yourself grabbing a quick snack, and with deadlines over your head your more likely to grab a pre-made sandwich and survive off pasta than make a filling salad. Keep the exercise up if you're worried about gaining weight.
'The Fear' Constantly
"Was that due for last week?"/"What were we meant to have done for class today?"/"I have so much going on that I have absolutely no idea what's going on.". "The Fear" will stick with you throughout final year, times of self-doubt and stress will have you on edge some days. Your mind will be so clogged that you'll become numb with worry. Do yourself a favour and get a planner! It'll make things a lot easier for yourself.
Intervals of Relief
The sense of a weight being lifted off your shoulders is almost euphoric. Whether it's handing your lab notes in or doing well in a class presentation you'll feel like Andy running into the arms of Morgan Freeman in sunny sunny Mexico. Content, you'll probably head straight to the pub, to bed or back to the library. But in that moment you'll feel amazing.
Even those with the best organisational skills will end up having to stay up all night working. It just happens. No one can blame you, with that amount of pressure on your shoulders it's understandable that you just need to keep going. Always try to get at least 6 hours sleep, you'll work a lot more efficiently and feel less like a zombie.
A Sense Of Unity With Fellow Final Years
You all smell, hair is falling out left, right and centre, stress-filled tears are dropping everywhere, but this will bind you closer as a class. Everyone is in the same boat and sailing through the realm of Hades. It will be hard at times but never be afraid to ask someone for help, and to help someone. Class unite!
An Ongoing War With Procrastination
You'll find yourself in bizarre parts of the internet, looking at weird youtube videos and taking interest in conspiracy theories. Anything that's even remotely more interesting than whatever you're working on/studying for. Procrastination is the devil on your shoulder and the internet its weapon. There are numerous websites that can temporarily block Facebook from your browser, take the plunge.
Extensions - "Can I Have Some More Sir"
Life is easier when you have an extra day or week to perfect your assignment or finish that lab report. Have your excuses ready, your doctors note in hand and remember that you grandparents can only die so many times.
The 'Coffee & Smoking' Diet
Not the healthiest of diets to take on, but since you have no time to eat, cigarettes fill the void of hunger and coffee keeps you awake! So naturally you'll adopt this diet at some stage in final year.
This is inevitable. But it will pass... eventually.
The Urge To Drop It All
Ecstasy After Your Final Exam
BY THE BEARD OF ZEUS IT'S OVER! The overwhelming sense of achievement is upon you and all you hear are angels singing while you're getting a well deserved pint into you. The worst is over, let life begin again.