How to balance University with the rest of your life
Sitting in bed writing this blog post is the complete opposite to what I was doing this time a couple weeks ago.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a second year student at Bournemouth University studying Multimedia Journalism. I’ve wanted to write about my experience as I feel like a lot of you go to university yourselves, so I’m planning on writing an end of term post, well, each term.
Coming back from my summer holidays, I was going into a year where it actually counted. For many, first year might have been an excuse to go out a lot, and although I had my fair share of nights out, on our course you never get to go out as much, so this year was going to be even tougher, with more late nights all for the wrong reason.
With the increased workload and meeting deadlines, what I’ve found hard this year is managing to balance blogging with university work and also my commitment to PAUSE. When your course gets boring and sets you endless amounts of coursework not in for months in advance, it goes to the bottom of your to do list, and in all honesty that’s what I did. It's not that I don't like my course, quite the opposite, but the amount of work we have to do means that I become more focused on finishing it and moving onto the next thing rather than enjoy doing something. I setup my blog around the same time university started and wanted to spend as much time as I could on it, but then it wasn’t until the last few weeks of term where I had to put the blog to one side slightly and focus on coursework, meaning the blog content suffered as a consequence. My tip for you next term, and for myself, is whenever you get set a piece of coursework start it straight away, but at a leisurely pace. By doing so, it won’t make you stressed and it won’t seem like a lot of work and you’ll be able to balance your time doing the stuff you love as well.
Two tips I’ve recently come across are from fellow bloggers. WorshipBlues says that blogging should be fun and if I’m stressing with deadlines, the fun will get sucked out of blogging and become a chore. Now I blog when I can but won’t stress if I don’t get a blogpost out straight away because the blog is a fun thing for me, not a job. The next bit of advice I received was from Matthew Pike of Buckets & Spades who you may recognise from my blogroll. He says to plan out your week on Sunday and set out achievable goals. I’ve been doing this for two weeks now and I’m already seeing an improvement to the amount of work I’m getting accomplished.
During freshers the only thing you want to do is go out and although I went back to Bournemouth for the start of freshers this year as well, it just wasn’t the same. I ask myself how I went out so many times in a row last year when two nights on the trot means I’m pretty much bed ridden the day after and considered useless. This term I’ve been out far less, perhaps once/twice a week if I’m lucky and that seems to be enough for me. A couple times I’ve chosen to just go down the pub, go to the cinema or go out for food because I know the next day I’ll be able to far more productive.
Coming back from my home in Bournemouth has also made me appreciate a couple home comforts… food and a warm house. I’m sure all students can relate to this. When you walk in the house you want that sudden feeling of warmth, but with students houses that doesn’t happen as much, if at all. I’ll always appreciate my mum’s food, I did from the moment I left last September, but if you don’t already and you’re planning on going to University, then savour it!