Friends, Family, Freedom, and Free Beer: A Balancing Act

University is an exciting experience at first, but as you move closer to midterms and finals things can get a little tough to manage. Automatically people tend to let go of the things they don’t care so much for and focus on what is important to them. This isn’t exactly the best thing if your university work is at the bottom of that list. Good time management is probably the most important skill a university student can have.  It is difficult to juggle everything around, but as long as you block out the distractions it will get much easier.

First, you want to prioritise what you need done and what has to be done. Make a list of all of your tests, due dates for papers and assignments.  Staying organized is the key to effective time management.  On that list also write down events that you want to attend and don’t forget to take a few weekends off so you can see the family or to have time for yourself. Time for yourself is important to have just to unwind without anyone around, even if you are the most social person in the world.

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Once you have everything prioritised you can get yourself a loose timetable that includes your classes, meal breaks and study times. I say “loose” because you will get distracted and you won’t be able to follow it perfectly anyways. A good way to keep your confidence up is to leave room for error in your schedule. That way at the end of the day you can feel like you accomplished something.

As the year goes on there will always be events to attend and it’s pretty hard to avoid them if you have twenty friends harassing you to go.  If you stick to your schedule, you’ll have everything done so you won’t have to worry about scrambling the day its due; if not you will at least have most of it done.  Another sneaky tactic I’ve seen done in the past is that one could show up late and leave early. That way they can study late and leave before they have to worry about getting a hangover the next morning. If done correctly, the said student could accomplish the homework and still see their friends and enjoy the event at the same time.

Related: Party Hard, Save Hard

I found that I could get lots done in the morning before anyone around me woke up. It was a great way to get three hours of work done before people started poking their nose in my room asking what happened to them the night before. Unfortunately I was not a morning person so this rarely happened. Instead I stayed up late and got creative when looking for isolated places on campus to hide.

In order to take more than 2 classes a semester, have a great social life, and see your family once in awhile, you have to get organized and schedule times to hammer out your school work without distractions. For the vast majority of people working just twenty minutes without distractions it is the same as working an hour with distractions, the key is the focus involved.

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