How do you find balancing all the chaos of studying, earning money, and trying to maintain a social life?
When you’re trying to manage priorities at work and college, with assignments due weekly, not to mention responsibilities with family and friends, it can sometimes seem like there just isn’t enough time to do it all. However, we’re here to tell you it is possible and to give you the steps to follow to make it happen:
1. Choose to study something that interests you
It may sound basic, but if you’re going to stay motivated over the course of a degree, it’s much easier if you’re studying something you are interested in and that will benefit your career, in order to keep you motivated. If you like what you’re learning, you’re much more likely to make time to study.
2. Plan a schedule
Regardless of whether or not you are super organised, or tend to procrastinate, staying on top of everything can be tricky. So try to take some time to plan out the semester ahead and make a note of when everything is due, along with any other commitments you may have, such as work or social events. Consider the time you think you will need to delegate to each task and decide what can be started early and which tasks can or need to be left to a later date. Then let your family and friends know when you will be busy so they can give you your space and not spring last-minute plans on you.
3. Set goals
After you’ve planned your schedule, consider what you want to achieve during both your study and working hours – and commit to it. Set SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals that drive you. Always write them down to make them feel tangible and plan the steps that you will need to follow in order to achieve those goals – crossing off each one as you work through them, in order to continually visualise your success.
4. Make friends
Classes and lectures are a lot more fun if you know there will be some familiar faces to interact with. So, introduce yourself to the person next to you and strike up a conversation. Knowing that your classmates are battling the same assessments and deadlines can really offer you some motivation and support. You can even organise a group study session and plan a dinner or night out after big assessments are due in order to keep you motivated.
5. Know your limits
You might not be willing to compromise on your usual commitments once classes start, instead cramming study into your already busy schedule. However, it’s really important for you to realise when you have too much on your plate. If you’re having a hard time staying on top of your studies, you may need to think about compromising on your work commitments or avoid the occasional social outing. Also, it’s important to identify when you need a break. If you find you’ve hit a wall with your essay or keep reading the same paragraph over and over again, allow yourself some time to clear your head and take a day or afternoon off. A small break will actually help you to stay energised and get more done in the long run.
6. Look after yourself
Make sure you have time to look after yourself. Get enough sleep each night and try to find some time for exercise throughout the week. It can be really tempting for you to eat quick unhealthy food between classes, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you lessen stress and keep you strong and motivated as the semester progresses.