Produced by Kaitlin
BA (Hons) International Tourism & Hospitality Mgt
University, mmm, free from responsibilities, parties, waking up at 3pm, going to every event, complete fun 24/7. Or is it? I remember that time in first year when it hit that, oh, university is not just studying and meeting people, but also cooking, cleaning, laundry, working, studying, exams, shopping, the list goes on… Sometimes it can be overwhelming, maybe you feel sad or guilty for not going to events so that you can fulfill your responsibilities, or maybe you feel stressed trying to make the time to do your laundry. It’s completely normal to feel a whole range of emotions when you come to university, trying to balance a study, social and work life can sound challenging and even impossible! But don’t worry – keep reading to find out my top tips for managing your time at university.
1) Understand that there is not one perfect method. University is all about experimenting, learning new skills and learning about yourself and how you work best. I’ve tried a whole range of methods, and I’d recommend you also test out a few different ones! Daily to-do lists (I add even the smallest of tasks!), weekly goals, the pomodoro technique – all popular examples that are proven to help with time management!
2) Create a balance between studying and socialising. For me, it works best if I dedicate 10am-5pm Tuesday-Friday for studying. Then, the evenings, weekends and Monday I use for whatever I want – socialising, relaxing or catching up on cleaning and laundry. This also works well for my job, since I don’t have regular work hours.
3) Search for a flexible job – the university is a great place to start! Working in Dylan’s, The Old Fire Station or other campus cafes means you can have a set amount of hours each week and easily get to lectures in between shifts. Working as a student ambassador is a great idea too, I’ve done this for every year that I’ve been at uni. There aren’t usually a set number of hours a week, but you often get a lot of notice before a job and the pay is really great! Plus, the university cap your hours at 15 per week, so it’s much easier to balance working, studying and socialising!
4) Don’t be hard on yourself – like I said, there’s no perfect method, you have to test out what works best for you! If you begin to really struggle, check out what the university can offer you. There’s a whole range of time management workshops available as well as university support services. I’m in my final year of university, working on my dissertation, participating in societies (as both committee and as a member), working several jobs at the university and regularly meeting friends & family. It’s not always easy to balance, and there’s no way I would have been able to balance all this in my first year, but it’s definitely something you’ll learn over time!