My 5 rules that made managing work alongside studies easier27 April 2022
1 — Scheduling my week in advance
I make a weekly grid on a sheet of paper every Sunday and put it on my wall. This helps me remember what time my classes are, and what times I have picked up work. Not only does this help me plan my week in advance, but also is an easy way to add other engagements without over-scheduling.
You can employ scheduling tips specific to your personality type, as well as buy affordable products like planners and whiteboards at your local Wilko or Ikea. I have learnt that scheduling in advance works wonders for me and helps reduce stress about my commitments.
2 — Sticking to a set number of shift per week
After working for a few weeks in first year, I quickly realised that I would be tempted to bite on more than I could chew for more income. I knew that this would affect my studies, and lead me to burn out, and that I needed to set a plan in place to avoid doing so. If you struggle with something similar, I strongly recommend setting a maximum number of shifts or workdays you will undertake and sticking to it. This will give you control over scheduling your week as well as avoid overscheduling.
Also, Cardiff University has many self-help resources that can help you understand yourself better, and ultimately help you plan your work and studies better. Why not check it out here?
3 — Setting study goals
I have always tried to ensure that I am prioritizing my classes over work. And so, I set study goals such as the minimum number of hours I would study in a week and planning when to do my readings, so I am not behind on studies. This also allows me to pick up extra work if I have the time or enjoy my social life — a well-rounded university experience is important after all!
4 — Budgeting my income
To avoid being tempted to pick up more work than I can manage, I created an Excel sheet to budget my income throughout the academic year. This was a great help to me every time I worried about splurging. The university offers guidance on managing your money as a student, which was also very helpful to me. Also, beside enhancing my employability skills, budgeting helped learn more about financial independence and how to manage my money while at university.
5 — Making time to relax
Like I said earlier, a well sounded university experience is important. You deserve to rest and enjoy your time here, and make sure you make time for some self-care and nights out as you give your best at classes and work. Making simple dinner or movie plans with my friends or having a quiet night in with my books not only rejuvenates me but also prepares me for my commitments. When well rested, we can manage work alongside studies better.
Hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me over the past three years.
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