In my posts I know I talk a lot about how work is important as well as experiencing university life but sometimes it’s just hard to get a balance between the two. So today I wanted to give you some tips just how to stay on top of your work at university, without missing out on the social side of things. These will be something I’ll be following in the upcoming semester with two jobs, a dissertation to write and lectures to attend – my third year is shaping up to be absolutely packed!
Balance is key – Having too much work in your day to day life leads to a poor university experience, but having too much of a social life can lead to a poor degree. Knowing when to deny the pub and pour over your textbooks and to give up on last minute cramming in favour of a takeaway is crucial to a happy and fruitful life at university. For this I find that my inner guilt is key, if I feel bad for ditching my textbooks then I probably shouldn’t be doing it at all! You can also weigh up the work vs. play relationship over the past week and combine it with how imminent the looming deadlines are, multiply it with the amount of work you have to do and well, there’s your answer!
Knowing when to be strict and when to be flexible – There is definitely an element of each in order to keep a well-balanced lifestyle. Being strict applies to deadlines, or at least the weeks leading up to them. If you’re a more organised person you may wish to extend this to earlier on in the semester (or, as soon as you receive the coursework, which you’ll find out, are two very different dates!). Whereas, being flexible applies when it’s your friend’s birthday and you’ve spent all week toiling away in the darkened cave you call your bedroom. But it’s knowing when and where to apply each that’s the key.
Planning - Whether it’s planning your weekly shop or what you’re having for tea, your weekly timetable or the start of a very lengthy essay. The time sent planning is never time wasted, it’s absolutely is essential for keeping things running smoothly and actually saves a lot of time later. In my Staying Organised at University Post I talked about the importance of planning and highly recommended calendars such as Google and iOS that sync to your phone and give you helpful reminders!