Sunday, June 16, 2024

Spencer Schar: How to Balance Study and Life at University

Spencer Schar earned his master’s degree while simultaneously working full-time, averaging a 3.85 grade point average for the two years. This article will provide pointers to help university students achieve a healthy and sustainable study-life balance to avoid the risk of burnout.

It is a common misconception that university students have it easy, attending a handful of lectures each week and spending the rest of their time partying with their peers. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth, with many students buckling under the weight of their workload – particularly those who need to work to fund their studies.

For students who are struggling with their workload and vulnerable to burnout, striking a healthy study-life balance is crucial. Making time for friends and family is integral to wellbeing, helping to maintain important connections. Students should set aside time for real-life interactions with the people they care about most.

Creating a schedule is a straightforward and effective way of prioritizing work and ensuring assignments are handed in on time. Studying is a critical part of university life. However, it is impossible to study all day every day. It is important for students to set realistic goals in both their learning and personal lives to avoid the risk of burnout. When organizing their schedule, students need to factor in well-earned “me time” too, making time for spending time with friends and participating in activities they enjoy, be it playing a sport, attending a concert, or taking a trip to another city.

Students need to take care of their physical and mental health, ensuring they get enough sleep and eat well. Both of these factors can affect memory, and lack of sleep and poor nutrition can also increase the risk of developing certain health conditions. Students need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet to ensure they are energized with healthy, enriching foods.

Securing part-time employment may sound counterintuitive for a time-poor student, merely adding extra responsibilities to an over-stretched schedule. However, in some instances, working part time can have a positive impact, forcing the student to organize their time efficiently while providing the added incentive of an extra income stream.

In a digitized age, procrastination is a common enemy for people of all ages, particularly students. According to research by the London School of Economics and Political Science, the average smartphone user checks their device every five minutes, with many of these interactions occurring on an unconscious level and based on habit. There are numerous apps available to help students focus while studying, including Cold Turkey Blocker, which schedules systemwide blocking, and RescueTime, a time tracker with built-in website blocking. Freedom blocks distractions on all devices at once, while LeechBlock NG is a free browser-based website-blocking app.

While it is important for students to take time out to socialize, they also need to keep on top of their studies. For many people, university is their first taste of freedom and living independently. With no one there to keep tabs on them, skipping lectures can be very tempting. However, to maintain good grades students need to put in the work. Attending lectures is crucial. Where students live off campus and need to travel to lectures, time on the bus or train and spare hours between classes present an ideal opportunity to study, freeing up evenings for social activities – meaning students can switch off and relax when they get home.

University is meant to be challenging. Nevertheless, by creating a study plan and organizing their day more effectively, students can ensure that their time is spent productively while achieving a healthy and sustainable study-life balance.

Claire James
Claire James
Claire is an accounts manager at Fire Digital UK, an online publishing and content marketing company based in the North West.

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