5 hacks for balancing your studies and social life
Whether you’re breezing through first year, stressing through second year, or 3,000 words into your dissertation (and counting), maintaining a balance between your studies and your social life is super important. Going out all the time isn’t healthy, but then neither is burning out from spending too much time with your head in a textbook. So, here are some quick hacks you can incorporate into your student lifestyle right now to help you strike the right balance.
1. Tweak your week
It’s normal to feel like university life is pulling you in multiple directions and question why you’d sacrifice social events to study? Well, the best thing you can do is work out how long you need to dedicate to studying each day of the week in order to get all your work done (be honest with yourself!). Then, set apart the time in your weekly schedule to do it. Don’t forget to allocate time for socialising and your hobbies, too. Once you’ve got your timetable, make sure you stick to it, but feel free to adjust timings as new commitments come in (so… Love Island starts in June).
2. Mute your group
We’ve all got a WhatsApp chat that won’t stop popping up on our phones when we’re trying to focus. It’s tempting to read what’s being said while you’re studying, but try muting group chats until you’re ready to take a break. Then, you can unmute the chats, read and respond to messages. It’s not like the messages will disappear, so you won’t miss out on any gossip.
3. Reach the perfect combo
No, we’re not talking about a half chicken with peri-salted chips. We’re talking about a different kind of combo – a combination of socialising and studying at the same time. First, pick a friend you trust who won’t get too carried away chatting. Next, arrange to meet up in a place where you won’t be distracted (a quiet study space or room at the library). Then, test each other for 20 minutes on different topics that you’ve been studying, take a break to chat for 10 minutes, and repeat as many times as you wish. Set a stopwatch so you don’t go off schedule. It really is the perfect combo (sorry Nando’s).
4. Temptation, temptation, temptation
Whether you’re craving a night out or a Netflix marathon, it’s so hard not to give into temptation when your mind is begging you to stop studying and procrastinate. The trick here is to let yourself be tempted, but to only give into temptation as a reward to yourself for the hard work you’ve done. Spent a few hours studying? Great! Watch an episode of whatever series has you hooked on Netflix. Spent a day in the library? Then arrange a night out with friends. Rewarding yourself will motivate you to work harder during your next study session.
5. Scroll-free sessions
The worst thing you can spend your breaks doing as a ‘reward’ for revising or writing an essay is scrolling on your social media feeds. It’s so hard to stop scrolling once you get started, and seeing what other people are up to will only ignite your FOMO. So, do take breaks from studying, but don’t spend them scrolling. Instead, make yourself a drink or snack, see who’s in the common room for a chat, knock on a neighbour’s door, or go for a brisk walk around the block. It’ll feel like you’ve been and done something yourself, rather than just glimpsed at other people’s lives through the social media looking glass.
Many of our residences in 19 cities across the UK feature study spaces and social areas, so you can quickly switch from studying to socialising in seconds – it’s all on your doorstep. Browse your options to find a room that suits you.
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