University can be overwhelming. For some, the transition between the holidays and term time can be especially difficult; the first few weeks equating to hours of procrastination followed by a desperate, last-minute effort to meet looming deadlines.
Particularly, at this time of year, complaints about workloads and rumours of students dropping out circulate the campus. But how can we realistically attain a good work ethic that will see us through this academic year? Below, I have compiled a list of 6 important steps that may guide you in the right direction.
As with most things, a positive, determined mindset is key. Remember not only to be self-disciplined, but to be forgiving of yourself. Often results won’t emerge immediately and this is completely normal.
Sometimes apathy gets the better of all of us. However, having something to motivate you in your studies is very important whether it takes the form of small rewards after the completion of a task or an ultimate goal further off in the future. You can even ask a friend or family member to help prompt you, if you feel unable to do so completely independently.
Good organisational skills and time management can make a project so much easier. By prioritising your work and breaking it down into more manageable chunks, you can maintain a steady pace and avoid overworking yourself. If you’re someone who needs written cues, lists, post-it notes, and reminders are incredibly useful. There are also thousands of apps that can help you organise your work-life balance.
While consistent hard work is impressive, there is a point at which it can become counterproductive and even harmful. Often people become so carried away with reaching their goals that they forget to look after themselves properly. So, remember to leave enough time to wind down and do things you enjoy. It’s unrealistic to believe we can work non-stop without ‘switching off’ every so often because, after all, we are human.
If you’re really struggling to meet your targets don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Make sure you have a good support system. This could take the form of a friend, family member, a pastoral member of staff or you could use services such as the Student Advice Centre (www.nusu.co.uk/sac) and Nightline (0191 2612905.)
Although this may sound clichéd, exercise can have a huge impact on your productivity and mental health. It doesn’t have to be a high intensity or level of difficulty, but simply staying active will reduce stress and boost your overall alertness.
From walking, to yoga, to martial arts, there is definitely something out there suited to you and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved within the university.