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By Martin Kriegl | 10/11/2023

Especially the final phase of study can often be a challenging time. In order to support students, Graz University of Technology places a special focus on this study phase with the Graduation Support.

Between the last exam preparations, writing of the thesis and thinking about future, motivation can sometimesfall by the wayside. This is excatly, where the Graduation Support comes in with its offers and services. Exemplary for the many support offers is the “Long Night Against Procrastination”, which has been hosted once a year since 2019, and the “Long Afternoon Against Procrastination”, which joined the catalogue of events 2022. Learn more about the Long Night and the Graduation Support in this blog post.

The Graduation Support

In recent years, a number of initiatives have been launched specifically to support students during their final phase of study. Workshops on various topics related to academic writing are a core focus, as scientific writing is not part of everyday life, especially at a technical university. Consequently, teaching writing strategies and techniques for text revision can make a significant contribution to facilitating the process of writing.

In the TeachCenter course (central learning platform of TU Graz) “Graduation Support”, a wide variety of methods and information on the phases of the scientific writing process are available in the form of work sheets. These enable it to dive into the topic from home. With the help of these documents, tips and orientation aids are available for each phase of scientific work.

Those who do not like to write on their own are invited to participate in the open writing group, which meets once a week. Such meetings guarantee regular progress. In addition, the writing group allows for interaction with fellow students, which leads to mutual support and increased motivation.

Finally, for all questions related to the graduation phase, graduation counselling is available. Wether it is organisational issues, challenges encountered during the writing process, or a focus on improving motivation and time management, individual obstacles can be discussed and appropriate solution strategies can be worked out together during a personal meeting. To ensure that the solution stragies discussed are successful or to clarify any further questions that may arise, a follow-up appointment can be arranged at any time.

The ”Long Night Against Procrastination” combines all the offers: the event provides an exceptional opportunity for all participants to take a step towards a successful graduation.

For more information about the graduation support visit the website Graduation support - TU Graz

The Long Night Against Procrastination

Creating a space where students can work together, yet individually, on all their deferred work, protocols and exam preparations, paired with refreshments and a supporting program of workshops and consultations: That is the goal of the Long Night Against Procrastination (LNAA for short).

Workplaces with electricity are available to all participants throughout the night. It is by no means a rigid, closed event: just as everyone has their own working pace, participants can organise the evening individually, attend breakout sessions, take advantage of advice or simply write and learn.

The goals for the Long Night Against Procrastination can be pinned on the vision board.
 

But how does such a Long Night Against Procrastination work out? Let’s slip into the role of a participating student and take part directly in the LNAA!

The productive evening starts quite early for you. Shortly before 5 p.m. you will be one of the first to show up for the LNAA. The official opening is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., but you have a lot to do today, some chapters of your thesis have to be finished and you would like to have a comfortable seat. When it comes to seating, it’s first come first served. Before you go to your seat, you write your goals for the evening on a post-it and stick it on the vision board to motivate yourself. Then you find a suitable table where you also find the programe of the evening and you read through the different breakout sessions that are offered today. At 6 p.m. there will be a session on “Managing your master’s thesis”, but you won’t need that since you are already in the middle of it. But later, at 7:30 p.m. you find something that interests you: A session with tips and tricks against motivation lows and writer’s block. Something like that is always useful and you decide to attend. But first it is time to get to work; you unpack you laptop and start writing.

Active together against procrastination – in a motivating environment, this motto of the LNAA can be easily implemented.

 

After an hour, you feel hungry and go to the buffet. With a selection of sandwiches, fruit, cakes, juices, tea and coffe you can strengten yourself, talk to some of the other participants here and then it’s back to work. After the breakout session, from which you were able to pick up some helpful tips, you make another stop at the buffet, after which the works goes like clockwork again. When a question does come up, you quickly head to the consulting table, where writing and research advice is available all night. On your way back, you take a work sheet with tips for linguistic revision of texts with you, which is available for withdrawal together with work sheets for all writing phases.

After another productive writing phase, you start to feel tired, and not even a cup of coffee can help. You take a look at the clock and see that it is already 11 p.m. This is good timing, as the exercise session is about to start. With some exercises in the night air you get some fresh oxygen and the tiredness fades away, at least long enough to continue working for another half hour. Then a little midnight special takes place that you don’t want to miss: together you go to the roof terrace and write down your resolutions for your graduation. In this way, you ring in the “New Year” for your final phase of studies and gain additional motivation and confidence.

Now it is time for you to go home. You’ve acomplished a lot today, plus gained new ideas and tips from the breakout sessions, counseling, and the work sheet. You write the progress of the night on the score board and leave the building satisfied, where some other students are still working late into the night.

For further reading: The Long Night Against Procrastination is not the only thing happening at TU Graz at night. Here is an insight into the intersting nightlife: TU Graz by night

A glass of (non-alcoholic) sparkling wine can be toasted to a productive night and continued successful studies.

 

This, or something similar, is how the Long Night Against Procrastination works for the many participants. It is a great opportunity to work on any outstanding work assignments and learn about new aspects of academic writing through the breakout sessions and consultations. And even if something else prevents you from attending the LNAA that particular day, all of the Graduation Support offerings are available throughout the academic year.

Martin Kriegl is studying Environmental System Sciences with the focus climate change and evironmental technologies. Since 2022, he has also been a staff member at the Higher Education and Programme Development service department at Graz University of Technology. Here he is primarily involved in the Graduation-Support and is jointly responsible for the organization and implementation of Graduation counselling and various events such as workshops or the Long Night Against Procrastination.
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