5 ways to balance university and work

It can sometimes be difficult to take on a part-time job while trying to finish your degree. There are three main parts of every student’s life which consume most of their time: study, work and their personal life. Your studies and work both can take an ample amount of time and very little time may remain for personal stuff. This is usually one of the major issues students face. So, the question is: How can you balance your studies, work and personal life?

Sometimes life can feel a little overwhelming with the pressure of completing your coursework, paying for varsity and trying to enjoy your university experience. Between having a part-time job, schoolwork and maintaining a social life, it can seem like a daunting task to get everything done without feeling stressed. And many often have trouble maintaining a balanced schedule.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure you feel like a human, even when you’re a stressed-out student. Here are five easy tips to help you meet and maintain balance throughout your university life.

Keep an updated schedule

A great way to keep an updated schedule is to make use of the calendar app on your phone. It’s important to take the time to add your class schedule for the semester and any due dates of assignments. You should also plan for sudden work crises and last-minute overtime requests. Block off enough study time to be able to adjust if necessary. Create a study timetable and set aside specific times throughout the week to focus on things like homework, laundry and going to the gym. Communicate your schedule to family and friends for them to know your available times. If you’re, for instance, working in a bicycle and cycling shop and have a schedule that moves around each week, then it’s difficult to stay consistent with plans. If this is the case, try to create a schedule when you find out your work hours each week.

Work ahead

If you want to find balance between work and studying, it’s important to stay ahead and not procrastinate. If you procrastinate, you’re allowing your to-do list to grow and grow into an intimidating amount of work. And once all that work has piled up, it’ll be even harder to motivate yourself to get started. You should get ahead on readings, papers and other assignments. It’ll help reduce procrastination-based stress while allowing more time for your part-time job or hanging out with friends. There’s a lot of online resources which offer study tips, tutoring and digital flashcards. It can help you study ahead and compare notes to past students who’ve taken a similar course before.

Get enough sleep

You hear about the benefits of getting more sleep. From maintaining a strong immune system to improving your moods but you seldom manage to actually put that advice in place. Sometimes you could get so entrenched in your work that your high  stress levels and large workload can keep you from getting enough sleep. But if you take the time to improve the quality of your sleep, your stress levels are likely to go down. And you’ll also be able to think more clearly and make fewer mistakes in your work.

Prioritise your work

You should organise your work in a meaningful way based on when projects, exams and other work events are due. Recurring things like homework and studying are easier to schedule ahead of time. But assignments and projects, on the other hand, tend to sneak up on you. Make sure to check your curriculum to see how different assignments are weighted. If you know the due dates of your assignments and exams, you can effectively prepare for it. That way you can also work out which days to go to work. It’ll allow you to focus on what’s important. Knowing you’ve done a project and don’t have to worry about it can help you feel more balanced and relaxed.

Make time for yourself

It can be easy to neglect yourself, especially when you’re attending classes during the week and working after hours and weekends. But to balance work and university life, it’s important that you make time for yourself. You can either spend time with friends, visit family or even just take a moment to relax and unwind by yourself. It’s important for your well-being to have some time set aside away from work and school. On your off weekend, or once you’ve finished important tasks, be sure to find some way to treat yourself and clear your mind.

Following these five tips might not melt all your stress away but it’ll help you stay sane while still maintaining a busy schedule. It can be challenging to work and attend classes at the same time. But at the end of the day, the experience is what you make of it.

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