So just how do you balance juggling your studies, part-time job and extra-curricular activities at university? Well it’s hard to say, as there is no real right or wrong way to go about it. The important thing is that you find what works well for you and stick to it.
Below are a few tips on the sort of things you could try in order to stay on top of the work load and still have an amazing social life at uni. I must admit it’s not easy but it is possible. These tips are in no particular order, but they are just some of the things I think will help you during the course of your degree to manage your time better so that you can ace all your exams and still have an all-round amazing student life experience.
Tip#1: Have a calendar
Either the one on your phone or a hard copy or even both, just in case technology fails (as it sometimes does). Make sure you note down important dates and keep checking your calendar or set yourself reminders, because at uni if you don’t remind yourself of that coursework that is due in next week…yep, you guessed it, no one else will. So make sure you keep referring to your calendar/personal planner.
Tip#2: Be realistic
Do you have the time to go to that friend’s party? Can you really afford to go to different club/society meetings 3 or 4 times a week? All I can say for this section is that you can’t please everybody. You have to get your priorities right. If you have the extra time to spare then do so, but not at the expense of you falling behind on your studies. So just remember to stay on top of things. But if you ever feel it gets too much just take a step back, a deep breath in and speak to someone you trust like a parent or guardian or maybe even a friend. You could also speak to your personal tutor or lecturers if you feel you are falling behind on your studies and I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to help you get back to where you really should be…which is at the top!
This kind of stems from the second tip about being realistic. It is so important that you prioritise otherwise you may find yourself in a rather sticky situation. Prioritization is key, it is one of the most important skills that you need to get to grips with at uni whether you like it or not. I learnt that in second year, because you will find that as you progress from one stage to the next in your studies the work load does intensify but life still goes on. So what do you do when you have conflicting priorities? Well, the honest truth is that you have to choose one or the other. You may find yourself in a situation where both things are important, but then you have to ask yourself which one is of high priority? Which one needs my urgent attention? Which can be done later? By asking yourself these questions and many others it will make life a lot easier in deciding which activity should take precedence over the other. It’s not always easy to do, but unfortunately it has to be done.
Tip# 4: Stop procrastinating
You know those lies that we always tell ourselves…the classic ‘I’ll do it tomorrow…next week…next month, I promise’ but somehow tomorrow never seems to get here until exam season or a day before that coursework is due in, then the real panic kicks in. Avoid procrastination at all cost. Use every second, minute and hour of the day wisely because time is a very valuable thing. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, you can’t get it back. There is a popular proverb which says ‘Time and tide waits for no man’ which when I searched on google the definition that I got for it was ‘if you don’t make use of a favourable opportunity, you may never get the same chance again’ And that is so true. So please, let’s not waste any more time by procrastinating.
Tip# 5: Avoid getting stressed out
When everything seems to turn upside down and you can no longer hold it in, most people just explode, get stressed out and cry their eyes out. But guess what after you’ve finished crying and getting stressed out, your situation doesn’t change, it still remains the same. So I have learnt over the years that getting stressed out is a total waste of time. So instead of stressing yourself out, remain cool, calm and collected. I know it’s easier said than done but trust me on this one it actually works. What I have found is that instead of getting stressed out and working yourself up into a frenzy, the best thing to do is to count to 10 and take a deep breath in. No matter what situation you find yourself in at any point in your life always remember that it’s not the end of the world. No condition in life is ever permanent, everything is just a phase. Sometimes in life you’re up and other times you’re down, it’s just the way life goes (basically life’s a roller coaster), so don’t kill yourself by getting stressed out and bottling it all up. Find someone you can trust and let them know how you feel and they may just be able to either find a solution to your problem or put you in contact with someone else who has the solution for you. Remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. So keep on going because you never know how close you are to your goal, so don’t give up on it by succumbing to stress.
I would like to leave you with this verse from the Bible to help all those who are currently in a very stressful situation because they are at a point of their lives where there is so much to do, yet so little time.
John 14:27 (NIV): Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.