OK so I have to plan that event…I’ll do that after work today…Right then I need to go to that meeting and prepare for it…OK and that online training… Oh and that form… I should probably find some summer work experience… Ah don’t forget to buy Sophie a birthday present… Wow I’m really tired… Ah did I finish that seminar reading?…Oh dear. That essay was in for tomorrow wasn’t it?…How soon are my exams again?!
Yep. university is busy. Many students will get worn down at some point and it’s not fun. You get so excited by all that’s going on in first year and you want to get as involved as you can but at some point it does become too much. You will have a lot of responsibilities at university but you will need to find your limit. What do you actually have time for? Is this a once in a lifetime opportunity or are you already doing three other things just like it?
Here are some things that have helped me stay sane in the business:
- Take regular breaks and rests
This year I made the decision to not work on Sundays. Taking a whole day off once a week is something you should be able to do and if you cannot afford to then you are doing too much, in my opinion. This is coming from someone who chairs a society, has 4 jobs, is fundraising for a charity placement over summer and is in the process of applying to do my own research project. Oh yeah and I have a degree.
Rest is so important. Taking a whole day to just go for a walk, see some friends and relax is fundamental for me and I maintain it should be for everyone. If you can’t do a whole day, then an afternoon, an hour a day, whatever works for you but do rest!
2. Learn to say NO
When people know you are the kind of person who gets things done, all of a sudden you may find that you are asked to do a lot. You feel flattered. It’s nice to be asked. However, do you have time? No, do you really have time though? Probably not if life is already busy.
It’s OK to say no. More than that, it’s healthy to say no. It’s better to do a few things well than to stretch yourself too thin.
3. Your personal health and well being should be a priority
We will all feel exhausted at some point during uni and life but if that feeling never quite seems to subside then maybe it’s time to cut down on things. It is never worth being ill for a prolonged period of time because you don’t have time to rest. Your work, social life and quality of life will all suffer because of this. Your health should come first.
4. Do things just because you enjoy them
Use your rest days to do things that you love and won’t cause you stress. If you love painting, paint. If you love baking, bake. If you love sport, go and kick a ball around with some pals.
Travelling is a passion of mine. It can feel necessary to work for the whole of the holidays sometimes when deadlines are looming but if you need to get away from it all, jump on a bus, train, even a plane if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. York does offer some travel bursaries as well if you had a particular project in mind that’s more costly.
5. Sleep and having a social life are worth your time. Invest in them.
When it gets to the point where you haven’t seen anyone outside of your house in 2 weeks and you are falling asleep at your desk, you know it might be time to stop.
You will meet some great people at uni. Once of the best days I’ve had since coming to university so far was actually when a few friends and I decided to leave York for a day and head to Leeds. Everyone is busy but setting aside some time to just be with people, have deep conversations and obviously, take highly instagram-worthy pictures was so freeing. A return on City ZAP is £6 (#justsayin).
If you are tired, GO TO BED. Yes you have an essay to write but when you wake up in the morning to realise that those 6 paragraphs you wrote at 4am are actually quite incomprehensible, you may start to lose the will.
When uni gets to be too much, just think about what is right for you and what you can afford to stop.