Have you ever heard of the university triangle? Basically, it goes like this: grades, social life, sleep — pick two. And for many people, that’s the case. There’s only so much time in a day, so if you want to study and hang out with friends, often there isn’t enough time for sleeping. Or maybe you can’t function without sleep or hanging out, so then your grades take a hit. Or perhaps you’re so focused on getting good grades and keeping your health up that you never have time for fun stuff.
In my personal opinion, none of those options equal a fulfilling university experience. Somehow I managed to find some balance between the three points of the triangle. My secret? Time management, my friend. Time management. It makes everything possible. And there is one little friend I have that makes my life sooooo much easier and helps me manage my time: my agenda.
That’s the main thing: you need to write down everything you’re going to do, on the day you’re going to do it. I would prioritize what needed to happen on a given day, figure out how long I would need to do it, and then schedule it out in my mind. That way you can make the most of your time that isn’t spent in class. Write down deadlines so you can see them coming, and start working on projects long before they’re due (I usually take two weeks to write an essay). If you can do little bits at a time, you’ll be less stressed before the due date and you’ll have more time for other things.
So, balancing out time for a social life? No problem. Schedule that in too. Keep in mind you might not be going out every single night, but if you can even hang out with friends once or twice a week, that counts as a social life to me. It’s easy in a dorm; you can spend time with your pals just by going to supper together, and you needed to go to supper anyway, so bam, two birds with one stone. Studying in groups can also be a good way to get some friend-time, while still getting some work done. Personally, I don’t work well when I’m surrounded by people, but it can work for some people.
And your health? There are all sorts of ways you can keep healthy in your hectic schedule. Eat good food. Make yourself go to bed at a time where you can get at least 8 hours of sleep. Staying up all night cramming is not good for you. Get some exercise: sign up for a class at the recreation centre. That way it’s just an hour each week that’s already set aside for you, and since you’ve already paid for it you’ll be motivated to go. And that schedule in your agenda? Schedule in time for yourself! It’s important so that you can have time to unwind and not go insane. Maybe it means reading a book, taking a walk, or just derping around on the internet. Just a word of caution though, make sure your “you time” doesn’t go on forever and you don’t forget to do everything else on your list! If that’s a problem for you, set a timer or an alarm so that when your fun time is up, you actually get back to business.
So that’s my personal recipe for balance, but there’s certainly more to say on the subject. You can attend workshops at CLASS in October or the SLC in January.
Any questions? Shoot a comment my way.