How you can balance your studies and wellbeing

08 May 2024

Undergraduate student, Laura, shares her advice on how you can juggle a busy student life, whilst still prioritising your well-being.

So many times throughout the year, I have been stressed about university assignments or exams, forgetting to take good care of myself. In this blog, I want to share some tips which have helped me keep my sanity intact while diving into the academic jungle.

The magic of meal prep

Let’s face it - nobody has time to cook a gourmet meal from scratch every night when you’re knee-deep in case studies and group projects. Spend a couple of hours on a lazy Sunday to prepare the meals for the week. Put on some music or watch a series or movie while you cook. Make yourself a fridge full of delicious dishes ready to go, so you will not have to worry about cooking on a Tuesday night after a day racing between lectures and the library.

The pomodoro technique

Most of us prepare a timetable to outline all the work we want to complete for that day, but most of the time, we put so many things on the list that it ends up being unrealistic. Make sure you set goals you can accomplish with the time you have so that you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. 

Try not to procrastinate - it is easy to check your phone for 5 minutes only to see an hour go by on TikTok! What has worked perfectly for me is the Pomodoro Technique, or as I call it, my 30-5 lucky timer. Here is the deal: you set a timer for 30 minutes and fully dedicate yourself to that task. After, you are rewarded with a 5-minute break (check your Instagram, but when the timer goes, you leave your phone!). This technique has helped me be much more productive and allows me to recharge my mental batteries in between work.

Master the art of saying no

One of the biggest traps in university life is the fear of missing out (FOMO). You want to attend every party, join every club, go to the cafeteria with your friends every lunch. Sometimes, we don’t have it in us to attend every social event and we shouldn’t feel ashamed of that. If you are overwhelmed and all you need is to chill in your room and watch Netflix, do that. It is perfectly fine to decline an invitation or skip an event rather than showing up feeling exhausted and wishing you had stayed home to rest.

Get moving

You've heard it before, but it's worth repeating: exercise is a miracle cure for stress. Now, I'm not saying you need to become the next Usain Bolt, but getting your blood flowing can work wonders for your mental clarity and mood. Whether it's a quick jog around the campus lake, a game of basketball with friends, or a session at the gym, doing a little physical activity goes a long way in keeping you from becoming a permanent resident in the library.

Lean on your friends

University can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but having friends to count on makes a huge difference. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help when you need it! Sometimes this little support is all you need to get back on track. I have found that organising study groups with friends is a great way to get through your homework while having the company of people who understand what you're going through. And if you need a break, there's always someone ready to lighten the mood with a joke or take a quick walk around campus. 

And there you have it. These tips have helped me over the years when it feels like everything is spiralling out of control in university. My advice is to take things one step at a time and laugh along the way. Remember to put yourself first. I hope these suggestions were useful, and I truly believe that finding balance is key to maintaining the right mindset to keep moving forward.

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