Work Hard, Play Hard

How to strike a balance between meeting all your Uni deadlines and still allowing yourself the down time to let your hair loose and have some fun. 

There are so many distractions when it comes to sitting down and attempting to get that dreaded essay written or revision kick started, from noisy house-mates to the constant temptation of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter calling out for you to check your newsfeed. Therefore, it is unfortunately not uncommon for students to find themselves facing that last minute melt-down the night before a hand-in or exam when they find themselves unprepared.

However this doesn’t need to be the case and by following a few tips you can ensure that in the future the only all-nighters in sight are those taken up by partying and not caffeine fuelled library trips. University is supposed to be the best time of your life, so make sure you make the most of it while you can!


Know your priorities

We all know that students love to party and with things going on every night of the week it’s hard to resist going out. It is not essential for you to go to everything though and there will be plenty more opportunities where they came from down the line. Likewise with University work; although there’s no need to study 24/7, you are at University to get a degree at the end of the day and with fees as high as they are, your work should not be put on the back burner. The trick is to strike a balance between the two; if you have a big deadline on Friday that you haven’t completed, it’s probably best to give that heavy Thursday night on the town a miss. That doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of all fun though; celebrating the completion of an assignment after it’s handed in is always a good excuse to let your hair down after all.


Keep track of deadlines

A good way to stay on top of deadlines is by keeping a diary or marking them on a calendar, this way you can stay on track with your work and eliminate those nasty moments when a course friend mentions a deadline for the next day that you had allowed to skip your mind. Alternatively, you could make a list of your deadlines to stick on your bedroom wall and cross them off as they are completed.

Also, just because a piece of work is not due in for another month, it doesn’t mean that it needs to be left until then. If you find yourself with some free time earlier on, make a start on it and save yourself the stress later.


Allow yourself breaks

Working for too long without a break is only going to stress you out and it may turn out that you’re not actually achieving very much when you’re in that state of mind.

Allowing yourself a break will give you some time to wind down and refresh your mind, so timetabling in a few minutes at a time throughout the day to relax may help to make the exam period a little bit more bearable and in the long run probably more effective than if you were to over-exert yourself.


Healthy body, healthy mind

As tempting as it is to reach for the biscuits when glued to your desk finishing off that coursework or attempting some revision, it’s important for your general well-being to make sure you eat healthily. Try to eat proper meals throughout the day to maintain your energy levels and it may be a cliché, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day after your body has been starved of food over night, so set yourself up for the day with a healthy breakfast. Starchy foods such as cereal, potatoes and pasta are a great source of energy, making them perfect meal choices to help you through exams.

We all know that exercise is important for our general fitness and health, however; it is particularly important during exams as it boosts your mental well-being and can actually help you with your concentration. Physical activity increases your heart-rate which makes your blood circulate faster and as a result of this it ensures that your brain gets more oxygen, which can increase productivity and reduce tiredness and stress.

You don’t have to take too much time out of your day for exercise, but giving yourself breaks for a short walk or jog in the day may help you feel energised and refreshed.

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