Juggling student life can often be a challenge. Finding the time to study, socialize, join in with clubs and perhaps even hold down a part-time job can sometimes feel impossible. However, even when you have important exams coming up, it is important to find some time to have fun, relax and recharge your batteries.
Keeping on top of coursework and exam preparation
One way of helping to keep that balance is by making your study time as efficient as possible. The saying “work smarter not harder” really does apply here.
Creating yourself a timetable is one way of doing this, as allocating slots for doing work each day can help you to stay on task. Start by putting in your lecture and seminar times, as well as any part-time work commitments. Then fill in some time each day for studying and coursework. Make sure you plan break times into your study slots, as it’s easy to lose concentration after staring at your computer screen or textbook for too long.
Remember you don’t always need to study alone. Why not plan to do group study sessions with your course-mates? These could be on campus, at the library, at a cafe or even outside in the sunshine.
Once you’ve planned these into your timetable, you’ll then be able to plan some free time for catching up with friends, playing games and binging your favorite Netflix series.
Making the most of your free time
Being a student isn’t all about work, it is also a time to experience new things and create great memories. Here are a few activities that will help you to enjoy your free time and get to know those around you.
After a long day of studying, playing games can be a great way of blowing off some steam and having fun.
If you are still getting to know your new housemates or friends on campus, board games are a great way of spending time together and taking part in a bit of friendly competition. While board games may seem a little old-fashioned, they can be great for connecting with new people as everyone is likely to know the rules. If you want to practice your negotiation and financial management skills, Monopoly may be a fun option. Alternatively, there are drinking game versions of many classic board games. One example is Snakes and Ladders, where shot glasses are used as counters and the player must drink if they land on a snake.
What about if you fancy a bit of time alone after a busy day? In this instance, playing online games from your phone or laptop can be a great way to entertain yourself. If you are looking for a fast-paced game with simple rules involving an element of luck, then you could try the online world of gambling. The internet is full of online casino sites that cater to all tastes, and whether you are an experienced casino player or a gambling novice, you will be able to find games to play that will suit you.
Slots are a great place to start. They have exciting themes, dazzling graphics and are easy to understand. There are slots with free spins and cool bonus features, and many sites also have great welcome offers and no-deposit options. You can often try out a demo version of a new game before playing the real thing to make sure it is right for you.
If you have moved away to study then you may be missing friends or siblings from back home. Playing games with them can be a great way of staying connected. Many console games have online modes that allow you to play with either people you know or complete strangers. Popular action and esports games such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and FIFA all have this feature. Whether you want to play cooperatively or compete against one another, that’s up to you.
Going shopping can be another great way to enjoy your free time. While cash can be a little tight while in full-time education, many stores offer great discounts and promotions for students and some even hold student-only events.
Research which brands offer great discounts before you head out, to make sure you get the most out of your money. There are websites and apps such as UNiDAYS that make doing this much easier; they help you filter by product or store type and give you a discount code to use. These discounts work for clothes, homeware, technology products, food and much more.
Going out and exploring your new home city’s shopping centers and high streets is a great way to spend time away from studying. It’s also a great way of treating yourself for all the hard work.
Living off pasta, instant noodles and takeout can only sustain you for so long. Without the correct diet, you may begin to see your energy levels decline and your concentration suffer. Not to mention, regular takeout will eat into your student budget.
If you have cooking facilities in your new digs, now is the time to gather your new friends and roommates and practice cooking up some healthy, balanced meals. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore; you do it in turns to prepare meals for one another. Focus on perfecting a small number of healthy meals and then you can try out some more complex recipes once you are feeling confident in the kitchen.
If you are short on time, batch cook a meal at the beginning of the week and then separate it into portions for freezing. This works particularly well for curries, stews and bolognese.
Being a student can feel like a constant juggling act. The key to balancing your academic studies, social life and other responsibilities is good planning and organization. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take part in new experiences. But also, don’t be afraid to turn down plans if you need time to catch up with college work or just want time to yourself.