Grace Vinzia talks about how she balances working part-time with her university timetable and gives a word of advice on how to juggle such a demanding schedule!
Within modern society, balance is often discussed as a desirable and necessary skill that we should all strive to achieve to lead a functional life. As children, we are taught to have a balanced diet; as teenagers, we are taught to balance our school work and everyday life. But at University, things change. A student’s time at University is often discussed as a period of realisation, self-growth and discovery. Years where you can still enjoy being careless and young whilst also adulting for the very first time.
Nonetheless, there is also the expectation that studies, social relationships and personal hobbies are also pursued. This is hard enough. If a student also pursues a job whilst at University, as I do, things can get tricky, and that work-life balance everybody always seems to talk about can slip away. In this article, I will discuss some tips on how to regain the strength of balance during your memorable University time.
- Don’t be a hero: Realistically, you cannot do it all. You are not a super-soldier or in possession of a suit of armour. The average human has physical and mental limits, so try and go easy on yourself. It can be challenging, especially if your job is the main source of your university funding; all responsibilities may seem too heavy on your shoulders. I suggest finding out your limits or weaknesses so that you can practice self-growth and improve instead of just pushing yourself to achieve the impossible.
- The Art of Organization: If there is one skill that goes hand-in-hand with becoming balanced, it’s being organised! The golden goose of transferable skills; organisation allows you to find the time to do a little bit of everything. Be aware of your University commitments so that your work commitments can be managed. Any sort of calendar would be great to use; Loughborough University offers a variety of resources in terms of calendars that can be used both online and on paper. Another accessible option is using your Apple or Microsoft calendar accounts or Google. Using my computer calendar has made a massive difference in my organisation as a second-year student actively working a job.
- Fight off stress and believe in yourself: When managing multiple responsibilities at once, it is essential to keep motivation high throughout. If stress and worry are holding you back from living your career and student life simultaneously, find an outlet that works for you and benefits your mind and body. I rely on physical activity; going to the gym, long walks and horse riding are my ways to blow off some steam so that I can bounce back stronger. Similarly, if work and studying are taking over your schedule and mind, reaching out to friends and family or pursuing a hobby might also be an excellent step to unplug in some way. The balance comes in, when you can discern when it is time to act or take a minute.
So really, if there is one key takeaway from this article, it is that balance is a direct derivative of what makes you personally happy, what sets your mind at ease and gives you the strength and ability to be both professional in studies and career as well as social. Of course, it is always easier said than done. But finding your own balance is a practice and something that comes with trials and tribulations. This article does give some tips that can be used as a starting point to work towards a sort of equilibrium. Still, it is also important to bring your own approach, as every student is their own person.
Edited by: Caitlin Phillips (Lifestyle Editor)
Banner by: Sarim Mangi (Head of Design)