University deadlines are a lot different to college. No one reads the draft of your essay, you get no reminders about that very important lab report and your lecturers won’t be too keen to help if you email them the night before it is due. So here are my tips on keeping on top of your deadlines and balancing work with fun whilst you’re at uni.
So a list probably sounds very dull but it is important to have one when it comes to organising the work you need to do to. If you forget a piece of work or some reading, then it is not going to get done and that will only create more stress for you. Every week I keep a list in my bag of work that I need to do so that I don’t forget anything.
Diaries are very important for visualising your deadlines. I always find if I don’t write a deadline in my diary, I don’t quite realise how soon it is due. “Oh it’s due on the 10th, I have plenty of time!” Except I probably haven’t realised that it is already the 4th so I have less than a week until my deadline! Using a diary means that you can see which deadlines are coming up sooner and thus spend your time working on the soonest deadlines accordingly.
A timetable plan is something I should do every week, but I admit that I don’t. However, I do always do one during revision or exam periods. Basically, I print off my university timetable and then add to it when I am going to do my additional work and what I am going to work on. This makes sure that I am spending enough time on each topic and I can pencil in working for longer on the topics that I am less sure on. It also stops me from thinking that I probably have nearly done everything I need to do, so I can start watching that new TV series…bad idea!
How to fit in paid work
Working whilst you’re at university isn’t always ideal, but let’s face it, you probably need to. I currently work two jobs with some occasional student ambassador work on the side. My advice is don’t take too many shifts; this will vary person to person, but for me my maximum is 12 hours work a week. Of course, working is important and sometimes not optional for students, but try and fit it around your studies. You may find that working means that you have to give up going out sometimes in order to still fit in your deadlines, but that isn’t always the case.
Plan your socialising
Planning your socialising…sounds like great fun doesn’t it?! I’m not saying never go out spontaneously, but maybe don’t go out spontaneously the night before that lab report is due that you still have 300 words of it to write! If you keep up with your university work and fit your paid work around that then there is no reason why you can’t go out with your friends. Not that you have to listen to me, it’s your degree and your choice!
Hope some of these tips help, I’m not trying to sound too much like a nagging Mum, I promise!