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Advice for freshers: how to manage your workload

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One of the hardest things about first year of university is managing your degree work load while trying to juggle new friendships, sports clubs, societies, a job and a social life. It can be easy to push your course to the side to make room for other pastimes, especially if your first year doesn’t count.

While you don’t need to be in the library 24/7, you should make an effort to study enough. You’ll only regret it when second year comes along otherwise!  Here’s how to fit studying in around your crazy schedule:

  1. Plan ahead 

Keep a diary of the work you are set and when it’s due, then plan a time to get it done. Whether it’s on the bus or in the middle of the night, it does’t matter, as long as you finish it. Remember tasks often takes longer than you anticipate, so don’t organise to do it ten minutes before your class starts. Planning ahead is especially important when it comes to essays and large assignments. Tutors will often give you weeks to complete something like this, so don’t leave it until the night before.

  1. Get up earlier 

Sounds unappealing when you’re probably awake until 3am most nights, but if you can force yourself to get up after enough sleep rather than lying in until the afternoon, you’ll make more time in your day for work without having to miss out on something else. Mornings are also the quietest times in university halls, so you’re more likely to have an uninterrupted work session than in the evening.

  1. Make a timetable 

If you’re really struggling to fit your work in, why not make a timetable? Write down when your various extra-curricular commitments take place, as well as your upcoming social events, and you’ll be able to see when you can fit work in. If you’re really busy, this will help you realise that the free moments you do have should be dedicated to work. If you’re still finding it impossible to get work done, maybe you should re-assess the amount of extra activities you’re doing. It’s great to join clubs, get involved and experience new things at university, but not at the expense of your degree!

  1. Find a suitable work space

Sometimes, coping with your work load is just about working efficiently. If your flatmates are coming in and out of your room, distracting you or persuading you to stop working, you need to find somewhere else to go. It’s understandable to want to stay in your room for fear of missing out on something, but disappearing to the library or a coffee shop for a couple of hours won’t make your friends think you’re no fun.

  1. Don’t procrastinate 

So when you eventually find the time to do some work, make sure you use this time wisely! Schedule study sessions for the time of day you’re at your most alert so you get a lot done. Don’t be tempted to go on Facebook, paint your nails or watch Netflix – promise yourself you can do whatever you want when you’ve finished.

Do you have any more advice on how to manage your workload? Tell us below.

Photo: Michael Graf / Flickr

Lucy SkouldingAdvice for freshers: how to manage your workload

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