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Six top tips for balancing your academic work with social life at Uni

We get it. You’ve come to University and you want to do EVERYTHING. You’re trying to balance it all: activities, events, sports, nights out, your part time job, visiting friends, oh, and then there’s a degree that you have to study for?

Socialising

Nobody likes getting FOMO, but if you balance it right, uni doesn’t have to be all work or all play. It’s all about balance…

As ever, we’re here to help and so we’ve picked out our top tips to balancing being a socialite with actually getting a degree.

Devise a weekly timetable

Daily Planner

It sounds simple, but having a routine can be incredibly calming once your studies and assignments ramp up.

Start your timetable by putting in your lectures and seminars, and build the rest around it. Schedule in time for studying, with clear times and location, that will help keep you on track. Between lectures, try fitting in a bit of study-time in the library or a café rather than whiling away hours on your phone.

Don’t forget to add in your other activities – whether that’s sports, volunteering, a part-time job or something else. But try not to overdo it; keep it flexible, and give yourself some ‘time off’ to relax, enjoy a bit of Netflix, or so you can say yes to that impromptu night out or cinema trip.

Don’t be afraid to say no

That’s not to say you always have to! But don’t feel obliged to agree to everything and overload yourself. If you can’t commit, it’s always better to say so at the start than to agree to something that you’ll stress out about or not be able to complete it later.

So if your boss offers you two extra shifts and you have an essay due, learning to say “no” can be a positive thing.

Create the perfect study space

Tidy desk

Different students will study best in different ways. Some people prefer the library, others prefer to be at home.

Find out what works for you, and try to create the perfect place to study so you can keep on track. If it’s at home, assign your study space or desk and try to keep it clutter-free, with enough space to work comfortable.

Why not add something that inspires you - a photo or inspirational quote that will keep you on track and reminds you why you’re there.

Combine studies with social

Study Group

Some students study better with others – whether it’s a friend or in a group, it can make it easier to stay committed, and gives you someone to bounce ideas off or help to breakdown the jargon.

Even if you’re not studying the same course, it can be a help to have someone there to keep you on track, and once you’re satisfied with your progress, there’s an excuse for a cheeky drink afterwards.

Talk about how you feel

Nothing is as important as your health, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be a weight off just to talk to someone about it. The University offers lots of support channels for students, whether it’s answers to questions that are worrying you, or our counselling service. Find out more about the support on offer here.

Remember why you’re here

If it wasn’t for the fact that you studied damn hard to start with, you probably wouldn’t be here.

If things are starting to get on top of you, try to simplify things by stripping it back to: what are you here for?