Going to university means that you are going to manage your time all by yourself.
No more high school schedules that are set up for you – going to class from 8AM to 3PM, having extra-curricular activities from 3PM to 5PM, going home and doing homework from 5PM to 9PM.
When some of my friends first came to university, they found that they had way more free time compared to high school. Others found university was quite challenging to manage, with tons of activities they wanted to be involved in and difficult academic work.
In this blog, I will share with you some personal tips that I have regarding balancing your activities with studying.
- Note Down Your Schedule!
When I first came to UBC, I was flooded with all different events offered by the university. I remember there was one time I bought a ticket to go to a marketing event that related to my major, but totally forgot that I would have a group meeting at the same time. I ended up having to reschedule the group meeting – lucky enough, it was a small project and my teammates were really understanding of my mistake.
To avoid this mistake again, I decided to buy a planner at the UBC Bookstore. Things got way easier for me to handle because now I can avoid scheduling activities at the same time accidentally.
You can also check out different cheaper planner options online. If you are more of a tech-person, Google Calendar works well, too.
- Focus on Quality over Quantity
I was excited and overwhelmed at the same time in first year with the vast amount of clubs offered at UBC. Hence, I signed up to be a member for five clubs. I ended up not having enough time to participate in most of the clubs I signed up for and wasted my money on memberships. This year, I learned from my mistakes – I managed my time more wisely with the work I chose. I work as a Work Learn student (an on-campus working program with a very flexible and suitable schedule for students) at the Chapman Learning Commons and am involved in Imagine Day as a Senior Orientation Leader for my faculty. By focusing on quality rather than quantity, I have more time to invest in the role I am in. For instance, by working at Chapman Learning Commons as an assistant, not only I gain more customer service experience, but I also have a chance to apply my marketing & communication interests in making promotional graphics and working on social media posts in my role.
- Sleep Can Help You Go a Long Way
It has been shown that sleep can help you to have a “greater ability to complete tasks like studying, researching, and writing.” That being said, a good sleep can help you to be more productive and balance between your daily activities and studying.
One important tip is to avoid all-nighters. There was one time that I stayed up all night because I could not sleep due to jet lag, and as a result, it was really hard for me to focus on my tasks the next day. That for sure affects my ability to balance between my academic work and other activities for that week.
For more tips on sleeping, UBC Student Services offer great resources on their website that you can check out here.
- Have a Break Once in a While
Even though actively participating in the university’s activities and focusing on academics is necessary, do not forget to schedule a time for yourself, too! Having a short break can help you calm down and reflect on your own experiences, what you enjoy and what you do not.
Thanks to my routine of taking a break every Saturday and having some “me time”, I learned a lot about myself and activities I want to be involved in. I learned about what my priority is in terms of activities or events I want to commit, or which subjects in school I like to learn more from.
UBC has a lot of good places for you to take a break and slow down. My favorite places are Great Dane Coffee, UBC Rose Garden, and The Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co. You can try those or make your own collections of favorite places! Comment your favorite places down below!