One of the hardest things that undergraduate students have to overcome is the new area of their life; university. Once you start your degree you might find it difficult to juggle your home life – family, friends and work – and your student life, which is made up of studying, lectures and adjusting to a separate lifestyle. Here are our tips on how to split your life as a student, and keep a good balance between the old and new, you can also see our fresher’s advice page, too.
Keep in touch
If you have moved away to your university or college it can be exhausting to keep up your old and new life, like staying in contact with your old school and college friends as well as living your new life. Nobody expects you to be exactly the same now that you have moved on and that should extend to your old friends. You don’t have a superpower so you can’t teleport between lectures and nights out and please everyone! The best thing to do is to keep in touch with your old friends and see them whenever your schedules match up – they’ll be busy doing their own thing anyway and you’ll find that it doesn’t matter how long you have been away when you do get back together. Social Medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Skype will keep you updated with each other’s lives and make contact easier.
The biggest priority is your education – you’re a student now! Avoid going out of your way to please your new work, friends or anything else that gets in the way. By setting your priorities you’ll always know what’s important and not let your new life overwhelm you. This can be extended to the first point of keeping in touch with those important people in your life – don’t let your new found friends or classmates override your perfectly decent friends you already have!
If in doubt there is always reading week
Not every person is able to successfully juggle both aspect of their lives – the old and the new – so if you do feel guilty for not being able to make time for your old friends, or had too much work to do there is always reading week! You’ll have a reading week in the middle of the term, and then depending on your university a few weeks at the end of each term where you can travel back home. This is usually at Christmas, Easter and then the summer holidays, and you’ll have plenty of time to meet up with the special people in your lives.
It’s all about you
You’re only one person and if people do expect too much off of you then don’t let it cloud your judgement or you own well-being! If university life is becoming too demanding always try to schedule some ‘personal’ time at least each week! If you are constantly studying, working and trying to make your friends happy it’ll become too overwhelming and you’ll eventually burn out! To avoid this learn different ways to de-stress and do whatever works best for you. It could be watching movies, reading, taking a walk, shopping, listening to music or a relaxing bubble bath! Personal time is all about you!
Good things never go away
No matter how long you are away for, good things never really go! This can be said for your distant relatives, friends or even your pets at home! Some people find it hard to accept change and may act out against you having a new part of your life and not being able to do the same things you did before. If that happens just explain the situation, your feelings and always leave the door open if they choose to come back. The majority of good friends and family realise that this is your life now and won’t cause much trouble anyway!
It might be hard to think of your life as two halves – the then and now, or the ‘home’ you and the ‘university’ you – but really it is just about you and your new chapter. If you try to make everyone happy it can be exhausting and you’ll find you’re the only one not happy! Do whatever makes you happy and what you can manage and you’ll be able to step into this new part of your life with ease, as long as you stay focused and as long as you know what to expect from a degree!
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