Fourth year is hard. It’s not a myth. But if you pick the right major, and you are surrounded with supportive people, you’ll find it easier to find motivation and to put in the time needed to succeed. I often heard fourth year students at Glendon talking about how exhausted they were and how much work they had to do and I always assumed they were exaggerating. How much harder could fourth year possibly be than the previous ones?
Apparently, professors really do increase the level of difficulty and the amount of assignments in fourth year level classes. However, I’ve found that students also have a much higher level of interest and engagement in most of these classes. Being surrounded by other people who are passionate about similar topics as me definitely contributes to my enthusiasm towards a course.
I’ve also found that having two majors and diversifying what I’m learning has been key to my success at Glendon. If a double major doesn’t seem feasible for you, maybe consider declaring a minor, or even completing a certificate in a field that you might not explore in your major. Don’t worry about how a certificate, minor, or second major might fit in with your initial major.
It could be completely unrelated to it, but if it keeps you motivated and interested in your studies, it’s worth it to explore that field. My advice is that you will only do your undergrad once, so look beyond your program requirements, and take the courses that you really want to take.
Another thing first and second year students should keep in mind is that your grades will get better. I feel like my past three years at Glendon have equipped me with the skills that I need to take on the challenges of fourth year. I really have seen improvement in my grades, and more importantly in my writing process. Over time, essay writing begins to feel less forced, and more like the proper and logical way to present information.
So if you have just gotten back your first paper or midterm of the year, and are disappointed with the grade, don’t worry about it too much. There is much room and time to grow, and your professors and fellow students are there to help you. Don’t forget that the Skills and Career Centre (A118) is there to answer any writing-related questions you might have.
Having a hard time focusing or finding inspiration? Try working in Lunik Co-op, in the basement of the manor. It is a cozy and welcoming space where you can purchase delicious and healthy study snacks, and more importantly, many kinds of caffeinated beverages.
Best of luck during the rest of midterm season!