Trying to find a balance in life is hard if you have multiple things to juggle – especially when joining a university. You’re being introduced to a heavy workload, trying to make new friends and spending time with old ones, so no wonder it can be an overwhelming experience at first.
I’m Lily, a 2nd year Psychology student at ARU in Cambridge. In this article, I am going to focus on how I balance my academic studies and my social life. I will discuss how to find a healthy balance between the two, and hopefully, you can implement these strategies into your own life.
Create a schedule for your studies
My top tip is to create a schedule for your studies. Keeping on top of work is so important, so planning ahead is always a great idea. Planning even a week in advance will create a structure for you to work around and for you to ensure that your studies are the priority, but also so you can have your social time that works.
Creating a timetable either by hand or on your laptop can be a great way to create a schedule. Listing each day, and hour by hour how you are going to implement studies into your week. Make sure you go over your materials and lectures for the week, so you are creating an efficient timetable and something which will benefit you for the week ahead.
Have one day off a week
Alongside creating a timetable, it is also important for you to have that downtime for yourself. Now although this isn’t “social”, having time for yourself and doing the things you want to do is beneficial for your well-being and mental health.
So one day a week, schedule a day off for yourself where no work is being done. Go on a long walk, watch a series on Netflix or have a self-care day. Whatever way you like to spend your downtime, prioritise that on this day of the week.
Attend all lectures to prevent catch-up time
Attending that 9am can be difficult and hard to get up for, and sometimes you honestly would rather stay in bed. But imagine all that free time you would have if you attended those lectures. It's easy to skip a lecture, but not so easy to catch up. You must carve out the time to do them and once you miss one it’s easier to miss the next.
So instead of having an overwhelming amount of content to go over, it's easier in the long run to attend the lecture. This will let you have a huge amount of time for you to be social and have these interactions with others.
Put your phone away while studying
Lastly, putting your phone away while studying is a major game changer. Your phone can be a huge distraction while studying because one TikTok ends up being 20 TikToks. It's so easy to get distracted on social media, so putting your phone in a drawer, or another room, or locking it for even 30 minutes can lead to getting a lot more work done.
After this studying time, you can reward yourself with going on social media or hanging out with friends. Therefore, you are getting a nice balance of getting the work done and rewarding yourself with things you want to do.
I hope these tips helped with balancing social life and studying. It is important for your studies to be a prime focus, but also to make sure to take care of yourself and take that time out in the week.