A guide to finding your perfect balance.
With the start of another academic year in a fresh new environment for many of us, we find ourselves overwhelmed by the worries to be on top of our studies and the desire to adjust well in our newly found social circles. However, our concerns lie deeper than this. Whilst we constantly struggle to meet the demands of our studies, social life, job and possibly commitments to other extracurricular activities, we find ourselves yet again fighting against time and in front of a deadline. Especially in the business scene, the perfect resume does not just consist of academic achievements and successes in the workforce but requires personality, determination, and growth to be demonstrated.
For our first-year students, the transition from the planned-out high school curriculum to the independent-based career and course options provided in university may be both intimidating and overwhelming. So, here is a quick rundown of tips, information, and a guide on how to find YOUR perfect balance in life.
How to improve your social life
The term ‘Social life’ does not merely refer to making more friends but to forming genuine connections with people who share the same passions and interests as you. Whether you are in your first year or final years of studying, gaining a variety of new experiences even if they may not directly be connected to your studies will remain beneficial in the future.
Utilise the events and programs offered to you by UNSW and consider joining a society. There is a society for every interest, hobby or passion and they are a great introduction to social and educational events that can help with up-skilling and developing social skills.
A few of the BSOC 2022 events that occurred earlier in the year include the annual cruise ‘Malibu Night’ that provided an environment for social interactions and new experiences as well as the Linkedin masterclass and photoshoot which provided coaching and professional upskilling services that were catered towards students and early career job seekers. Societies also offer programs such as peer mentoring that allows students to increase social skills whilst being in an environment where they can hold open discussions with other students in similar situations as them.
The importance of extracurriculars and hobbies
Extracurriculars and hobbies play an important role even in university. It is scientifically proven that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress and depression. Hobbies can include both group and individual activities and can range from weekly gym classes or being in a sports team, going to nice cafes, crocheting, and baking in your spare time to even journaling which can also help with managing your schedule.
A way to feel more in control of yourself whilst focusing on your mental and physical wellbeing is spending just a little more extra time cooking your meals. An easy and healthy study snack/meal is smoothie bowls, not only because they are nutritious, there is no right or wrong. This means that you can make personalised smoothie bowls with your choice of toppings whether it be fruits, nuts, chocolate or peanut butter.
Follow these links for easy smoothie bowl recipes.
Finding your study habits
If you haven’t already found your personalised method of organising your work, a journal is a great way to manage your schedule. Online platforms such as Notion or Google Calendar are commonly used amongst students; however if you are like me, having a physical outline of your schedule, deadlines and tasks is much easier to use in the long term. Therefore, having a small journal to carry around is a simple yet effective method of staying organised and on top of your work. It is also important to plan your schedule ahead so that you don’t feel as if you are being chased, i.e. consider travel times and be lenient with yourself by planning breaks.
Things you should consider about your studying habits:
Learn and observe the conditions or environment you work best in. Ask yourself the following questions,
- Do you work better in louder, public locations such as cafes or in more secluded areas such as libraries?
- Do you find yourself being able to focus better when you study for long hours in one sitting or in timed sections with breaks in between?
- Does listening to music help you focus or distract you?
It is important to understand under which conditions you work best.
A tip for time management is making your own deadline for tasks. Having a deadline two days before the actual due date will allow you to finish your tasks early and have enough time to proofread or make any edits accordingly.