How to balance school, work, and social life in university

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

Starting university comes with new responsibilities, new environments, and new opportunities. Class schedules are a lot different than what you might be used to and adding work to the mix as well as remembering to make time for yourself and friends might complicate things, but it’s not impossible to manage. It’s a bit of a learning curve but time management skills are one of the big takeaways from outside of the classroom.

Being organized is one of the key factors in balancing these aspects of life. They may seem individualized, but they are all connected. Taking care of one can help balance out the other two. Here are some tips on how to stay on top of it.

Balancing courses

Just a heads up, regardless of your field of study you will notice an increase in readings, assignments, and overall things to keep track of. For balancing course work, writing down when assignments and tests are due on a calendar is a great way to start being organized. Also, having a “to-do” list for each week can help break down the semester and it’s a great way to keep track of everything on a smaller scale. A more organized step would be to have each subject colour coded and have separate folders on your drive to know where specific notes are.

When it comes to courses, most of the learning is done on your own time. When keeping track of your schedule try to designate specific times to go over notes or work on assignments. This could also be an opportunity to implement the social aspect; you can join a study group and discuss material you didn’t fully understand with your classmates and learn from each other.

Remember to take breaks. This goes for everything, but when it comes to course work, there might come the point where you can’t concentrate anymore and it’s best to take a step back and breathe.

Balancing work

As students, a job may figure into your schedule and while income is important, let’s face it, it can also bring a lot of stress, especially when you also have assignments to worry about.

This is where time management comes in. The previous tips of knowing ahead of time when assignments and tests are due are helpful as you can ask for a day off work when you know you’ll need it. Communication plays another key role here. In case of an emergency, letting your manager and/or professors know about the situation can be beneficial.

Planning ahead is the take away. If you have an assignment due on Friday night but work that same night, it’s best to start the assignment early and finish it before work rather than leaving it for the last minute. Things happen, and something might come up, again this would be a time to talk to either your manager or professor.

Balancing social life and your own time

If you want to thrive in the classroom, you can’t forget to take care of yourself, focusing only on school and work can lead to burnout. Whether it’s time for yourself or friends, both are equally important. At Brock, there are a lot of ways to stay involved and have a social life outside of the classroom. One great way to meet new people is to join a club at Brock, there are hundreds of different clubs and if you see there isn’t one on the list that you would like to be a part of you can create one. For more info on clubs visit here.

As for making time for yourself, you know yourself best. Don’t forget about your hobbies, whether it’s watching a show, reading, or going to the gym. Find what helps you destress after a long day and implement it into your schedule.

The main takeaway here is to be aware of burnout. We’re university students, we’re busy, it happens. Seeing so much work on top of all your responsibilities can be overwhelming. Taking breaks is just as important as doing the work itself, it can lead to better quality and less stress for yourself. Brock has lots of mental health resources, for more information regarding mental health visit here.

Remember to be patient, it’s not the end of the world if one of these areas is being neglected, just remember to be aware of them and try your best to balance them. Everyone has different methods to do so, there is not one right way. 

Good luck, and welcome to your first year Badgers.

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