The Uni experience: balancing study with your social life
It’s safe to say that things really can get on top of you when studies all add up. I’ve found that study at Warwick can be intense. Work mentality is strong and competition can be fierce. So here are some healthy tips to make sure you get the best of both worlds, between social and work life at university…By Lillie Almond
Integrate study with social time
The piazza is a great location for those with enough self-discipline to balance their social and study lives. And for those who don’t have that all-important self-restriction, it’s easier than it sounds: timetable work time in the learning grid, or in a quiet space that you know works for you. For instance, you can speak to tutors and book rooms for work-time, solo or group-style. According to your requirements, balance this scheduled work time with breaks for lunch, an opportunity to be social and release your mind from work.
Step back from your study
The reading lounge on floor 1 is a great way to get some head-space. The same applies to all the cafes on campus, including Curiositea which features weekly jam sessions with live acoustic music.
The University’s student cinema another easily accessible release for your mind, and it features a range of affordable movies that you may not usually stumble across. Box office sell outs are played too, and once again, instilled with self-discipline, you can really make the most out of the fact that the cinema is on campus.
The library has stuff going on too. During exams they had a silent disco in the library and even a visit from some PAT dogs. The Modern Records Centre has an exhibition space, which is definitely worth checking out. And for you Postgrads, there’s more than enough going on!
So this self-discipline we keep talking about? How do we access and instil it?
Organise and break down what you have to do – not as massive scary chunks, but as small, doable targets. Set yourself time limits and deadlines for these, and reward yourself as you tick things off one by one. These rewards can be integral within your life and studies, or an exception to your normal routine, with things such as social activities, working out (which releases endorphins), going to a movie, or heading out for an evening drink or dinner.
Keep checks on yourself
Give yourself limits on study sessions, by setting phone reminders or timers. Study is a more of a cross-country thing, rather than a sprint so make sure you recharge those batteries.
But this goes both ways… If you know in yourself that discipline isn’t your forte, make your friends help you out here. Let them know your deadlines and your targets (and make sure that they are the friends who will instil them!) Setting up precursors like this beforehand is a constructive way of curbing your more flippant self in later hours.
If going out in the evenings is affecting your studies, consider your routine. This will make that next day of study far more manageable and tolerable.
We’d love some specific tips on how you manage this. Are there events, spaces or services that you find particularly conducive or helpful for work or play?