The running joke that every professor thinks their class is the most important has a large grain of truth to it. One class of work can take hours per week after the class period ends — and most people take more than one. Keeping up with your studies and the rest of your life can feel like a real balancing act sometimes, especially when your assignments and readings are piling up. Taking the time to balance your schedule and your studies will pay off in the long run when you aren’t drowning in a pile of upcoming deadlines.
Maximize Your Study Time:
The better you concentrate during your studies, the less wasted time you’ll have. We’ve all spent an hour trying to read a textbook only to find that at the end, we didn’t get anything out of it. Taking an active role in your studying process can help you maximize the use of your time.
Oxford Royale Academy recommends a few different strategies to get the most from your studies. Write questions for yourself to answer about what you’re reading. Try to study in a group so that you can quiz each other. Stand up and get away from the desk occasionally. Take a nice constitutional outside if the weather is agreeable or just walk around the house, make a cup of tea, and stretch.
Stick to a Sleep Schedule:
Assuming your weeks are similar enough that you can do so, try to stick to a set sleep schedule. The benefits of regular sleep are numerous: you’ll feel more alert, be more capable of studying, and even feel happier in general. If you have a bedtime that’s reasonable, you can even fit in extra tasks in the morning. For example, getting up early might give you enough time to stop by the gym or enjoy a breakfast with friends who would otherwise be caught up with work or school.
It’s pretty accepted to sleep in when you’re at university, but try to make sure you’re making the most of your time. Getting eight hours of sleep a night is great; getting 12 might be excessive.
Don’t Wait On Deadlines:
This goes for everything from your job to your academic commitments to your sports teams. Never wait until the last second to get something done. Leave five minutes early for work. Start assignments as soon as you get them. Prepare for things as best you can. Lay out your clothes before bed. Try meal preparation. The more you do in advance, the less you’ll be scrambling at the last minute. That can also help improve the quality of your work because you aren’t pressed to get it done.
Make Use of Outside Resources:
Go beyond the course materials assigned by your teachers and get a boost from approaching your material from another direction. There are all kinds of study guides for popular subjects from Shakespeare to astrophysics. Flash cards are a great way to create micro-study sessions during breaks from work or during commercials in your favorite evening programme. You can also look into low-cost essay writing services that can serve as a guide or foundation for your studies. These types of outside resources can make studying a bit easier and help you fit it into your tight schedule.
It’s pretty common to hang out with people in the same discipline as you. If you can, try to merge social time and study time. There’s no harm in getting together for a drink that starts with a quick exam review. With the work out of the way, you’ll be more relaxed and able to enjoy the fun of being together. You can also take your academic assignments along on road trips via books on tape, read during breaks at work, and alternate each episode of a Netflix binge with one question of homework.
Enjoy Your Life:
The most important thing — aside from getting good marks — is that you enjoy yourself. You’re only at university for a brief and exciting time. Take advantage of it. Know when to put away the books and just have fun with your friends. Blow off steam on occasion so that you can come back more focused and dedicated.
If you aren’t enjoying your life at university, look into joining clubs that spark your interest. There, you’ll find people who share those same interests. You can make new friends and form social connections that themselves offer health benefits.
Not having to deal with health issues makes it easier to attend class, get in hours at work, and socialize with your friends. While not everything can be prevented, staying healthy will go a long way toward helping you feel great. Make sure you’re eating enough healthy food, drinking healthy drinks, exercising regularly, and getting outside when you can. It isn’t healthy to be completely stressed either, so be sure to take a break and relax when you feel overwhelmed. Even five or ten minutes spent making a cup of tea and practicing deep breathing might help you feel more relaxed.
When you make a place to balance your schedule and your studies, you’ll get more satisfaction out of both. Taking advantage of the time you have, working regularly and not waiting for the last minute, and focusing on your health and happiness will all help you create a healthy equilibrium. If you aren’t already following a schedule that lets you complete everything you need, sit down and create one — then start living it.