Contrarily to what science says, the world is spinning faster and faster. As we are presented with the newest ways to get through our daily life, our environment gets progressively more demanding, and new challenges keep coming up every step of the way, especially at university.
Our parents can keep saying that their life was harder without all the access to resources that we have today. Nonetheless, we are still expected to study, save money, stay updated on what’s going on, all while keeping our mental health and social life neat and intact. The world has never been more connected than it is right now.
Directly or not, we are constantly being observed and judged.
Therefore, here is some advice on how not to lose your mind and make the best use of your time while studying.
Hitting that reset button is the best thing you can do. Taking a moment to relax and breathe can do miracles during a busy week of lectures and shifts at work. Although you might feel like you’re losing control, the main point of this little break should be to regain it.
Imagine that you’re in a car, looking at trees by the road: as you accelerate, they become blurry and it’s hard to focus on just one of them. But if you look in the distance, the image becomes clear and you can see all the objects one by one.
This is exactly what we’re aiming for: taking a break in order to have a different, neater perspective of what we’re doing.
There are plenty of activities you can engage in to disconnect. Whenever you feel too much pressure, try going for a walk or for a coffee, even by yourself. You could watch a movie, or read the book you’ve been putting aside for months. You can dedicate one day a week to just rebooting the system.
Don’t do anything that might remind you of the task you’re escaping from, and most importantly, don’t feel guilty: it’s not procrastination. You’ll see that when you come back to work, everything will seem clearer, and you’ll get right back on track with double the productivity!
Making lists might not be for everyone. If you’re good at meticulously ticking your bullet points – you’re a super-human, everybody would like to be like you. Most of us, however, keep making those endless to-do lists, just to end up losing or forgetting them.
If you can relate, scheduling might be better for you. The aim of the game is to make your routine less chaotic. You’ll be amazed how much time you could save if you only took a little bit longer to plan your week.
Even if you think it’s unnecessary or too obvious, take a piece of paper or open a Word document and make a table, then fill it up with everything you have to accomplish. That way you’ll have a clear idea of what the next couple of days will look like and you’ll know how much time you can dedicate to your hobbies.
Be precise about time! Remember that you can’t clone yourself or travel in time – you can’t be in two places at once.
You can’t give up when you’ve already committed. After all, your social life is at stake, right?
Changing your mind is human. No matter how hard you try, anything can shift your schedule, consequently complicating your day. Never forget that this is your life to live, and nobody else’s.
Essentially, if you have to choose, prioritise yourself, especially if this doesn’t harm anyone else. Anything you do now can have a significant impact on your future, while that playlist you promised to make for your friend can really wait a little bit longer.
As long as you don’t make it a habit, don’t be afraid to say you don’t have time. At the end of the day, you’re the priority.
Limiting and planning your routine is crucial, but don’t be too restrictive. The fuller your schedule is, the less you’ll have to do later on. You’re young, your mind is as active as it will ever be, and it would be a shame to waste it.
Besides, the more experience you gain now, the easier it will be to find a job after you graduate and thus you’ll progress faster. Not to mention, varying your routine between university, work, and hobbies will give you better chances of meeting new people and expanding your network.
The opportunities around you are endless. You can be whoever you want to be, and being in control is important. But don’t stress too much: it is crucial to remain lucid and approach your tasks rationally. Take your time to plan your day and re-schedule whenever you find it appropriate.
Have fun, stay focused, and don’t let anyone get in your way to success.