For many, the final semester as an undergraduate is a combination of senioritis, anxiety and excitement. In my last semester, I’ve overloaded my schedule with on- and off-campus obligations to prepare myself for a competitive job market in media.
I currently have two part-time jobs; one as a digital media specialist for Florida A&M University’s Scholarship Office, and the other as a front of the house worker at Gaines Street Pies. I’m also interning with WCTV as a multimedia journalist.
On campus, I serve as the lifestyles editor for The Famuan, the copy desk chief with Journey Magazine, the live-shot reporter/MMJ for News 20. I also produced and anchored the annual Homecoming Special. I volunteer with the Journalism LLC program and do my best in my spare time to help my peers.
It’s been a hectic semester. Time management has been crucial to keeping my head on straight as I approach graduation less than a month away. Here’s how I do it:
- Write things down:
One of the primary keys to my success this semester and every semester has been taking notes. No matter what situation, taking notes during lectures or meetings has helped me not rely solely on memory. Make a list, get a white board, invest in a nice planner or utilize the notes app on your smartphone. It allows me to organize my thoughts, teach others and stay on top of deadlines in my planner.
2. Plan ahead:
It’s easier said than done but try not to procrastinate. Take advantage of any free time you may have to accomplish something written on your list. Over the summer at Gaines Street Pies, I would bring my laptop and work on my website and business cards. This gave me a huge advantage during for capstone because I only had to make minor adjustments for my presentation. With your deadlines written down and your notes on hand, getting work done ahead of time relieves senior year stress.
3. Confide in a mentor:
Feeling successful by staying ahead of life and academic obligations can be taken one step further by confiding in a professional who was in your shoes. A mentor can be a professor, a media professional or even an upperclassman. All throughout the semester, I made sure that I utilized my professors as mentors in the different areas they specialized in. No one mentor will have all the answers and I know for a fact that I didn’t either. Yet, sitting down with these professors and following up with mentors in the industry helped quell my anxiety.
4. Learn how to say no:
One thing that all my professors and mentors have told me is to learn how to nicely say no. This final semester has taught me that I enjoy helping others and will say yes to anyone who asks for help or advice. In some scenarios, it’s been detrimental to my mental health by adding extra work and stress. I’ve come to learn how to respectfully reject, prioritize my obligations and be fine with telling people “no.”
Utilizing these skills to your advantage could make all the difference when you walk across the stage in the Lawson Center. As the semester comes to a close, time no longer makes me anxious or scared for what comes next. By taking control of my time, I’m prepared for the opportunities that await me in December.