Managing time on and off campus

There truly is no place like home. We’ve all come across this phrase at some point and depending on how we view it we’ve all accepted or rejected it to varying degrees. Personally, I’ve embraced this sentiment (especially my mom’s food and my sibling’s banter!) more so after going to university, but I’ve learned that the concept of being home during the holidays is quite different when you’re a university student. Don’t get me wrong- I revel in all the joys and luxuries that come with being with my family, but obviously the phrase “There’s no place like home” wasn’t penned by someone with multiple deadlines looming large on the horizon.  So, this brings us to the question: is being well-balanced possible in university? And if so, what exactly does it mean?

After completing my final coursework of the term, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. But just like outdated fashion, deadlines keep coming back. And as I keep learning, one of the only ways to stay on top of them is by planning ahead. Being well-balanced isn’t an impossible feat- it just takes a bit of effort on your part to allot specific times for work and leisure.  To do this, I usually make a well-thought-out plan outlining my tasks for the week ahead.  And what’s great about this is that you can clearly see how missing work impacts subsequent tasks, therefore giving you the incentive to stick to your plans. Also, making a study schedule consolidates study techniques such as spaced repetition – reviewing course material over increasing intervals –  which has consistently worked for me this year. And if making a schedule for the week seems a bit tedious, you can always just jot a to-do-list before starting each day which I like to do with smaller tasks. Either way, by incorporating a schedule to guide you through your work, you’re able to clearly lay out your priorities and establish a more efficient and productive study routine. And don’t worry if you feel this doesn’t work for you! There’s no one-size-fits-all and once you come to university, just like everyone, you’ll take time to find your bearings and eventually discover what’s best for you.

The other (and/or the best) part that comes with being well-balanced is leisure. There’s nothing better than finding yourself with some extra time on your hands during the day. Whether you’re into sports, arts, or music there are always opportunities for you to engage in your passions on campus. Recently, I’ve started taking walks in the morning. The fields by the sports center boasts scenic views throughout the year and offers quiet spaces to relax and ruminate on what TV shows you should watch next. Jokes aside, you can always find solace in nature and if you prefer taking walks in groups, the university offers “well-being walks” once a week to those interested.  Whether it’s incorporated in your schedule or not, don’t forget to take time off for yourself! Learning a new skill or spending time with your friends are some ways to make your day and university experience as a whole infinitely better.

A Happy Easter Holidays to you all!