The juggling act of uni: how to balance academic and social life

Being a student is hard. Despite the stereotypes of us rolling out of bed at midday for one lecture and drinking the evenings away, people often forget that there is much more to student life. While juggling relationships, socialising and studies, one key factor can seem almost impossible… survival!

Relationships

Before coming to university, anyone in a relationship was probably told to end it there and then to avoid the inevitable heartbreak halfway through freshers’ week. However, if you powered through the warnings, you may be feeling a strain on your relationship, especially with upcoming exams and deadlines making it difficult to truly relax together. Firstly, don’t worry, exams don’t last forever! You have a summer ahead of you which will allow you to experience your relationship outside the university bubble. Secondly, don’t isolate yourself, sharing your worries and stresses can bring you closer together. Take each day as it comes; exams shouldn’t mean the end of your relationship!

Friendships

Equally, impending deadlines might be making it impossible to arrange times to meet up with friends, with timetable clashes making you feel like you have to pencil each other in weeks in advance. There are simple ways around this which can mean spending quality time together without compromising your busy schedule.

For example, arranging study dates with friends is beneficial in two ways; arranging to meet someone to work makes it more likely that you will stick to your revision plans and get started with studying. It also provides an opportunity to meet a friend without the looming feeling of revision-guilt.

Also, cooking together can be a great way to alleviate the stress of meal planning. You can catch up with each other while chopping vegetables, with the bonus of having help to do the dishes!

Activities and Societies

A pile up of work might make the prospect of attending a society social overwhelming. However, it’s important to continue doing the things you enjoy to avoid feelings of resentment towards a schedule filled exclusively with things you have to do. One way around this could be to make a timetable filled with all the social events you have the intention of attending. If you plan which society events you want to take part in, then you can then fit study hours around enjoyable activities that you look forward to.

At the same time, remember you can say no! Don’t begrudgingly let your friend persuade you to go to your fifth pub quiz of the semester – you have to take time out for yourself.

Health

Your mental and physical health is certainly something not to be forgotten in the midst of studies. In fact, they should be an even greater priority at exam-time. Sitting at your desk all day won’t help your productivity, so if your feet start tapping to your revision playlist, listen to your body and get down to a gym dance class!

If dance is not your thing, there are great gym classes and YouTube videos including yoga and meditation, which can be the perfect escape from stress, essential in helping look after your mental health.

Fresh air and exercise may seem like a cliché, but their benefits are undeniable. Taking your reading outside on a sunny day or listening to revision podcasts while on a treadmill are both great ways to keep healthy while studying.

Studies

After years in education, studying seems like it should be a walk in the park by now, but no one’s revision technique can ever be perfect. Avoid trying to aim for perfection; it’s an unattainable and unhelpful focal point. Instead create a list of achievable goals to keep track of what you’ve completed and what still needs to be done. Then, you get the satisfaction of crossing tasks off, and rewarding yourself every time you do!

Don’t forget to enjoy the subjects you’re studying for. You chose them for a reason, so remind yourself why! You could try following the less interesting topics with those which you prefer learning about. Get excited, and with a positive outlook, the work-life balance that works best for you is well within your grasp.

 

Image: StockSnap via pixabay

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