As we come to the end of term one, you might have found yourself struggling to balance your studies with everything else going on at university. Before we head into the new year and term two, blogger Abbie considers the difficulties of student life and gives some top tips from interviewing other students about how to best balance between having fun at uni but also working hard and achieving your goals.
By Abbie Farsiani
University is such an exciting time because you get to study something that you chose, and you also get to meet so many new people. Despite your degree being the original reason you are at Warwick; university life is about so much more than your studies. Being a student in the best sense means socialising, doing societies, trying new sports, and putting yourself out of your comfort zone. So, what happens when you want to make the most of every aspect of life at Warwick, but you just can’t quite get the balance right?
I’ve asked some students just like you what they have found helps them to balance work and social life. Both these students are in their final year, so they have been in your position and made it out the other side.
Doing a degree that requires a lot of contact hours
Ish Dhillon, 4th Year Chemistry Student
What advice would you give to your past self to balance your work and social life in the best way?
Above all, it’s important to take your degree seriously, you need to dedicate time to it, even if that’s at the expense of socialising. Something key is keeping on top of work by doing tutorial work the weekend you receive it and always asking for help if you fall behind. A 50/50 approach is also beneficial because you can’t work 24/7, you have to see your friends otherwise you will go crazy. One way of blending social and work is by being a part of the academic society. By making friends on your course, you can actually fuse academic and social together, for example, you can meet up to do work, get to know each other and have fun at the same time. Planning is also key: plan out your socialising accordingly and don’t just make hap hazard plans that could ruin your schedule for entire week. Finally, when picking optional modules, people tend to either pick the easier ones or ones that they enjoy more that may be harder. Choose which person you want to be, and this will affect your social life and how much free time you will have.
Doing a degree and being the president of a society
Vanu Sutharsan, 4th Hispanic Studies Student, Former President of Tamil Society
How did you balance your degree, social life and also your responsibilities as president of a society?
I made sure to timetable my course deadlines and keep on top of it every week to make sure assignments didn’t clash with events that I had to be there for. Being a president is hard because you have a lot of responsibility, but it’s really important to delegate as well. Don’t overload your plate, everyone in the exec has their own role, and you don’t have to bear the brunt of everything yourself. The vice president is also your right-hand man so make sure to reach out for help if you need. I think it’s also important to assert your dominance in your role as president to make sure people know when you ask them to do something that it is their role to help you out. But at the end of the day, don’t lose sight of the fact you’re here for a degree and your degree should always come first. As a president, I always wanted to deliver on my promises, but if it ever comes down to choosing between your degree and extracurriculars, you need to prioritise your degree.
So, how do we balance work and social life?
Plan and schedule: keep on top of deadlines and assignments by keeping track of when they’re due and plan your week accordingly. To do lists are really helpful for making you feel productive and to tick things off one by one
Ask for help: it’s always important to reach out for help if you’re struggling with work, you can speak to your tutors or course friends and make sure to help others too when they need
Make work fun: meet your friends for study dates, work a little then grab a coffee or lunch together, it breaks up the day and makes studying more fun
Don’t be too hard on yourself: sometimes you won’t always get the balance right and that’s okay, you can’t work 24/7, you need to do things that you enjoy and relax too
If you’re a first year and the university balance is getting to you, why don’t you take a look at Making the most of First Year. Or if you’re a second year, and it’s stressing you out that your work counts this year, why don’t you check out, Handling Second Year.
Do you have any other tips for balancing uni work and uni life? Let us know! You can tweet us @warwicklibrary or tag us in your stories on Instagram @warwicklibrary