By Lyndsey Hall
Week 4 of semester 2 is upon us, and for many 4th year students, the Final Year Project due date is looming! As a Masters student, I can happily say I have ‘been there, done that’ and lived to tell the tale. I can’t quite believe that this time last year I was handing in my own FYP. It may sound unbelievable to current 4th year students, but the day I handed in that beautiful bound copy of a year’s worth of work was one of the best days of my whole undergrad experience!
For my undergrad, I studied Arts, with English and New Media here in UL. Coming in to 1st year, the FYP seemed like a lifetime away, but soon it starts to become very real and very terrifying. However, with an interesting topic and a good supervisor, the process of writing the FYP can be extremely rewarding and exciting. It’s your first chance to produce a totally original and substantial piece of work that is entirely your own, and when you finally see it in its physical form, you can’t help but feel very proud of yourself!
As far as interesting topics go, I definitely had one. I actually got to bring my lifelong obsession to the next level, and study the Harry Potter series. Writing about something that you are genuinely interested in means that you will be motivated in your research and unlikely to get absolutely sick of your subject (I can happily say I am still a Harry Potter fan, maybe even more so!). Whatever topic you are interested in, I can guarantee you there is potential within it for an FYP, and there will almost certainly be a supervisor in UL who will be more than happy to help you with it.
Here in UL, we are blessed with amazingly long Christmas holidays, and in that month of January after the first semester of 4th year, I was able to get my entire FYP done, and at a leisurely pace! So, when the morning of submission came in Week 4, the only feeling I had was excitement at the prospect of heading into town with my friends to print off the fruit of our labours and head back to UL to hand them in (see picture of me looking delighted with myself). This was followed by celebratory waffles in The Stables, and luckily for us, UL was also kind enough to organise the Tri-Faculty ball on the same night! What an amazing way to cap off what felt like the penultimate day of my undergrad!
So, here are my things to take away:
The FYP doesn’t have to be terrifying!
- Choose a topic you love, don’t be afraid to suggest something you are interested in to a potential supervisor!
- Use that month off in January UL has kindly given you to get work done, and then there is no need for the weeks leading up to the due date to be torture!
- Enjoy it and be proud of the significant work you have produced!
Visit www.ul.ie/artsoc/content/fyp for more help with your FYP
My name is Lyndsey, and I’m a Masters student here in UL, studying Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (it’s a mouthful!). I started this Masters immediately after my undergrad degree, which I also did in UL. So clearly, I love this university!