The academic year has officially started and I’m sure that most of you already have a full schedule of assignments and deadlines (I know I have!). But we all know that university life is neither studying in your room for 7 hours straight nor partying 24/7 and that’s why it’s important to find a balance between your academic and social life. To be completely honest with you, during my first year, the word “balance” was not even in my vocabulary, and you would either find me studying or going out too much. But now I’m a third-year who has learnt from my mistakes and I will share some tips with you so you won’t have to go through this by yourself!
Tip #1: Tick Tock- Time Management
Okay, this one is obvious - I know - but many people struggle with it and they end up procrastinating and we don’t want that! So, grab either your virtual or your ordinary planner and be ready to make lots of to-do lists. Like A LOT of them! The most important thing that you need to consider when writing these lists is to set up realistic and achievable goals and place tasks in a priority order. This is a great way to take away some of the stress that big projects may cause, and it will give you motivation to continue achieving the small tasks. Also, you can try to find what times work best for you to study, and work out your schedule accordingly. After adding all your academic related tasks to your planner, you can start adding the rest of your non-uni--related tasks in the free slots. That way you can get the best of both worlds and study during weekdays but also party (always following COVID-19 restrictions) during the weekendsJ.
Tip #2: You. You. You.
This is the most important tip out of all! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Make sure you always have at least an hour every day dedicated to you and only you. You can meditate, read a book, watch a tv show, cook or whatever helps you to destress. You shouldn’t neglect yourself so please remember to eat properly, stay hydrated and workout or go for a walk! Always remember that if things get hard and you find yourself not feeling the best you can always reach out for help because you are most definitely not alone. Here are some useful university resources in case you need them:
Tip #3: It’s okay to say no
It is only natural to get excited with your new group of friends and want to hang out with them as much as you can. I know that sometimes you can’t decline an offer for a night out or just a coffee at Union Brew, even if you want to do something about the pile of assignments waiting for you back at your flat. Saying no is okay and good for your mental health. Your friends are not going to get mad at you so don’t worry. Set your priorities and you’ll be happy with the outcome!
Lastly, you need to remember that developing a skill such as time management is not easy and it definitely doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t be hard on yourself! By starting with small steps, you’ll achieve the ideal balance sooner than you think.