As a university student, it can be really hard to balance social life with academic life. It’s a well-known fact that this is hardest first year. There’s an argument that you go to university to learn, therefore your academic studies should be prioritised. In saying that, you’re also at university to make friends and develop relationships that will last a lifetime. So technically, your social life and academic life are equally important.
If you’re the type of student that stays on top of your work, then you most likely don’t have a social life. Which is 100% fine, you can have a social life when you finish university. Research does say though to take some time out for yourself, if you push your brain too hard, soon your brain will push back. The increasing amount of studies on the limitations of the brain suggests that taking time off has major benefits for your brain. After rest, your brain is re-energized and productive so remember that it’s not all work and no play.
Prioritising social life over academic life is possible in your first year at university, but into your second, third or fourth year…you’ll be lucky if you pass anything. If you are able to balance your social and academic life evenly then it’s okay to spend as much time socialising as you do studying. There are many factors that come into the study/life balance equation; you most likely have some form of paid work + internship + extracurricular activities + personal life + social life + university work which basically equates to you having a lot on your plate, and being pretty stressed out.
No matter what kind of student you are, as long as you follow these simple steps, you’ll be balancing your social and academic life in no time:
- Organise the times that you will be studying vs. the times that you will dedicate to social interactions.
- Invest roughly 80% (working week) of your time and strength to pursuing and accomplishing your goals, organize the time left (the weekend) so you can spend it with the people you love.
- You can hang out with friends both old and new, family and/or support groups, anyone that you can talk to so you can relieve stress and get reassurance on things.
- Have an organizer or calendar, something that you can physically write down what your weekly schedule looks like. Plus, it also acts as a reminder of what you have planned and what you need to do.
What many students fail to understand, is that university is temporary. In the grand scheme of things, what’s another 3-5 years knuckling down and getting your degree completed so that you can arm yourself with the best skills and knowledge for the future. Students should look at what’s more important in the long run…will drinking and partying land you a job in the future? Unfortunately, majority of university students, tend to live in the present and not to think about the future.
By Charlotte Ruddy