By Lily Sheridan Power, Second Year, Anthropology
The Croft Magazine // Balancing deadlines and readings with pubs and mates is an everlasting uni struggle, but there are a few things you can do to help divide your time.
It seems ironic that I am writing about how to maintain a good work/life balance at university. I am guilty of submitting an essay ten minutes before it is due, bailing on a lecture because I went out the night before, attending a seminar without a single clue what the reading was on. I can assure you, so is every other student.
Trying to juggle university work, part-time employment, relationships, social life and time for yourself can be a struggle, and often, an overwhelming task. It takes organisation, planning and a lot of late-night study sessions. But: it can be done.
It sounds obvious, but time management is truly crucial as a student. If you have looming deadlines, it is probably for the best you don’t hit Lakota with your pals. Planning your time effectively will save you getting stressed later. How I do this is by making lists of everything I need to do this week, outlining day by day what is due when and then I work my social life around it. Dividing the list of tasks into days helps give you a clearer idea of how busy you’re going to be.
Your working environment
Choosing the right environment for studying is vital to making sure that the time you spend doing work is as productive as possible. I have tried countless times to convince myself I work efficiently in my bed, yet every single time, I unwittingly end up watching Netflix for two hours and then napping for another three. Try out different study spaces such as the library, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, a café. Anywhere but your bedroom.
Most, if not all, students are culpable of it. As someone who has spent endless hours procrastinating, the best advice I can offer is to do the task you want to do least, first. If you have that out of the way it is easier to focus on the rest of your work. Minimising distractions is also a huge help, you can use apps such as Forest or StudyBreak, to encourage you to ignore your notifications.
Something everyone should remember, and repeatedly fails to, is it is really hard to stay on top of everything all the time. So if you feel like you are sinking, remind yourself to take breaks, ring home, talk to your friends, your tutor, and reward yourself with a day off (a secret they don’t want you to know, but: sometimes taking time off actually makes things better).
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