Being a student is sometimes a bit of a juggling act, especially if you are balancing working, life, responsibilities, commuting – the list goes on.
To help you find your centre, we’ve listed our five top tips to balance work, life, and studying whilst at the University of Bedfordshire.
Create a schedule and prioritise
Writing a schedule is a great way of working out your priorities and the time it will take you to get things done.
Creating a calendar with class times, work times, study times and assignment or exam dates, is a great place to start. Add them in as soon as you know them. This way, you’ll know exactly when your free time is, so you can schedule in social activities too.
Be honest with yourself about your priorities and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Although making time to exercise is important for your health, you may have to miss a gym session so you can complete a uni task. But once it is finished, you’ll have that time back to use as you please.
Plan for the unexpected
As much as we all wish we could create a schedule and be able to follow it word for word, life sometimes gets in the way. Preparing for the unexpected can help you tackle last minute work that crops up.
Create a buffer in your schedule – if your assignment is due on a Friday, give yourself a deadline of Tuesday so you have time to go through it before handing it in.
Communicate what you’re doing
Let the people around you know what you’re up to. There will likely be times where your studies must take a priority, but by communicating what’s coming up, your friends, family or colleagues can help support you.
Do you want to take a day off for revision before an exam? Let your employer know. Giving them notice means they can support you in your studies as best they can.
Let your friends and family know too. Not everyone understands the demands of being a student and balancing other things, so be sure to tell them when you can socialise, when your study time is, and when you need help running an errand.
Make a positive work environment
A blended learning approach, like you will be having here at Beds, means you will be learning from home some of the time. This means it’s essential you make sure your study space works for you. Hunching over your laptop in bed might work at the start but it could lead to back and neck problems or affect your motivation.
Creating a dedicated space for work will help your posture and could help you concentrate. Popping your screen or laptop on a stand so it is in line with your eyes is the ideal height for working. The best position for your posture is with your lower arms perpendicular to your body and your feet on the floor.
And remember – taking shorter breaks away from your screen is better for you than long breaks. Aim for a five to ten-minute break every hour you’re working at a screen.
Take care of yourself
Last but by no means least, make sure you’re looking out for number one. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t be performing to the best of your ability.
Make time to socialise, keep up with your hobbies, immerse yourself in university life with societies or clubs and connecting with your peers. And remember, there are only 24 hours in a day, and you need time to relax too.
Contact Student Support
If you have any concerns whilst studying at Beds, we have support available.