University life is wonderful but as you might have been able to tell from my last blog, I’m a busy bee! Due to this, everyday things can even feel like a stress or struggle, like finding time to food shop, do the washing, clean your bathroom and even just eating lunch! So how can you balance everyday chores and essentials with lectures/seminars, extracurricular activities and a social life? Well there’s no perfect method to the madness but you can try and learn from my mistakes. They’ve successfully helped me formulate the following sequence which conveniently spells out: STAY CALM. How perfect?
S is for sleep. Make sure you get plenty! It’s so ridiculously unknown how perfect and wonderful sleep is. Sleep solves so many things from stress and spot break outs, and helps mental calmness and concentration. Yes, going to seminars is very important but there’s no point going if you’re going to sit there like a zombie not taking anything in – make sure you’re well rested for them! Its not always possible to get as much sleep as you need so make sure you catch up on nights when you’re not raving to S Club in Club Salvation until 3am.
T conveniently stands for time management. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll be able to tell you how much of a planner I am. I don’t think I could survive waking up each day and not knowing what’s in store. Also keeping a diary or calendar or even just a long list of things you need/want to do in a certain time period makes everything feel a bit more manageable, especially if you haven’t had enough sleep (!) and all these thoughts are just racing around your head! Definitely invest in a good calendar app or diary from WHSmith.
A is for appetite (sadly STFY CALM doesn’t sound as catchy so appetite it is!). This is particularly important and goes hand in hand with sleep. It’s so important that number one, you find the time to eat and number two, you eat the right stuff. Downing a bottle of Coke before your 9am lecture will do you little good when you’re half way through that 6-hour day. Carry a bottle of water around with you everywhere and perhaps an apple or cereal bar. You don’t have to go all out and make a spectacular chicken Caesar salad everyday but just a few healthy bits here and there will give you enough energy and stamina to keep going!
Y is for yoga … just kidding: it’s for You. Make sure you have some “you time” and actually if that involves yoga that’s great! I spoke about this a bit in my last blog but everyone needs a bit of time to just sit down and binge watch Netflix with endless cups of tea and a huge box of chocolates. I know I’ve just said healthy eating is important but no one should cut chocolate out completely, that’s just cruel!
C stands for commitment which leads me to ask a follow up question. Can/should you really make that commitment? Yes, you should make the most of your student life while you can, but don’t overdo it. If you’re studying Medicine, for example, but can’t decide between the Drama and Dance societies, you can always just pick one. With both you’ll get double the stress and even less time to do your yoga during “you time” – you’ll enjoy doing one so much more! Try to think about all the commitments you’re planning on making before you actually commit.
The second A is for accept help. If it’s all got too much and you don’t know where to look for advice, there are so many places at the University of York that are here to help. The Student Union are happy to talk with you and help you work on time management or discuss your struggles with deadlines or physical/mental health. Then there’s also the supervisors for each course who are some of the most understanding and caring people you’ll ever meet. Just drop them an email and they’ll be so happy to chat about things. Those are just two examples, there are so many more!
L is adorably for love and the importance to love what you’re doing. This links in well with commitment; if you’ve started going to the gym or learning Spanish or you’ve got a part in a pantomime but you’re not enjoying it, stop! What is the point in voluntarily spending time and energy on something you’re not loving? You always need to put yourself first and only do what you love at university.
And last, but not least, M is for make memories. Like I said, you’ll look back on these years and crave for them to come around again, but they won’t and even if they did they wouldn’t be the same. Get out there, make friends, learn things you didn’t even know were possible to learn and most importantly STAY CALM doing it!