Student-ing 101

How the f*ck am I meant to know what my career is, save up money, complete 100 essays for next week, be sociable and on top of that TRY TO STAY HEALTHY?! You're asking for a miracle.

Before I hit you with some advice, remember that your degree doesn't define you. That's not me giving you the excuse to do things half heartedly and not put in all of your effort. If your degree is not what you love anymore, use your experience at University to help you thrive in whatever career you wish to do instead.

Every student has their own situation and I really want to try and help all types of students make things at least a little bit easier for you. You're journey towards anything will never be linear and it's really down to how you make the most of the situation you are in now.

Become a Scheduling master

Scheduling is the best way to optimise your workload, as well as make sure you have time for yourself. In my opinion, if you're trying to remember all kinds of dates, events or deadlines off the top of your head, then you're already f*cked and putting yourself through unnecessary stress. This is when your expensive sharpie highlighters actually come in to good use.

Grab your calendar, whether you prefer it digitally or written out, grab something that has the days of the week with the dates or write it out. Categorize everything and write whatever you believe belongs under each category. Try to keep it simple and not have too many categories. After that, Colour code that sh*t, e.g blue - University related, red - important dates.

Every time a new date pops up ,put it in your diary so that you can always check if something clashes. The worst is when you plan something and forget you have your Mum's brother's daughter's family friend's birthday to attend..

I think it's also important to schedule in time to work on essays, not just for deadline dates. Don't just label it 'essay', maybe label it with ' essay intro' so that you know what you want to achieve when you get to doing the work. This can really help you keep on top of things and know exactly where you're at with uni work. This can also be for other things such as content creating.

'I'm broke'

The biggest decision you will come across at uni is if you would rather starve and go out or have dinner and miss out...just kidding (not really). Here are a few ways to help some financial issues.

Get a job. I believe in most cases it's possible to have a job during studying. Find some hours that suits you best, one day a week or one evening a week, at least it's something. We hate retail but sometimes we have to do it, and sometimes you do have good days with your work mates eating sweets and pissing each other off in the stock room. I also think it's good experience and helps to learn about patience in a shop... some customers don't quite know. A quick note: Don't work at a place where your income is almost your travel cost to got work. 

Find a side hustle if you really can't fit a job in your schedule:

  • Sell some old clothes
  • Sell old textbooks
  • Tutor other students - maybe students from abroad who want to learn english or you're bilingual and can teach someone another language.
  • Offer a service to other students, for instance - if you like photography, offer to take pictures for other students but for a price (affordable enough they will say yes). This goes for many other talents you have.

Saving money can also be hard but worth it in the end. You might want a piece of equipment, to go on holiday or save in general, so a good place to start is your expenses. Write your expenses down and know how much you have to spend each month e.g groceries. Sometimes you discover a way to even decrease those expenses. Once you know your outgoings, figure out a sensible amount that can be taken from what you have left, which still allows you to enjoy yourself every now and then.

The thing with money is that there will be a lot of sacrifices. Especially at the beginning, although further along the lines you do learn how to manage your finances and make better decisions with money. Whatever financial goal you might have I strongly believe it is achievable if you have the right mindset and you're determined enough.

'I have no time to keep fit'

I'm not telling you to go to the gym 5x a week. You don't even need a gym membership to be fit. Find an hour a week, find 45 minutes a week, find even 20 minutes a week and do something that helps you break a sweat. Working out is also a good stress relief.

With instagram fitness models left right and centre, you really can't get away from their home guides. You have home guides for biceps, triceps, grow your peach, every single body part you name it!

As for those who can and want to hit the gym, go for it! Some tips to fit a workout in your schedule:

  • Prepare your workouts in advance.
  • Purchase a guide if you have a lot of difficulty knowing what to do at the gym.
  • Workout with a friend - some extra motivation, it's fun and it helps to overcome a little gym fear.
  • Plan your meals ahead.
  • Listen to your body. Don't overwork yourself and do it gradually.
  • Your essay is more important than your peach sometimes. There is always time to workout in the future but you can't get back that 9k. If you know you are capable of fitting a workout and completing your essay in the same day then go for it. If you're a bit hesitant don't go and don’t stress yourself if you couldn't go to the gym when scheduled.

It's not always easy.

I never said all of this was going to be easy and everything will be in place. Like anything else, it takes a while to know what fits you best, and it certainly took me a few trial and errors knowing the limit to my workload. The most important thing you should take away from this, is that you will need a break sometimes. Don't say no to yourself when that time comes. Most definitely put 'me time' in that schedule. Everyone has their own situation, and these tips are to help make being a student that little bit easier. I hope you take at least one thing from this.

Elouiza xx

Date Created: February 3, 2019


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