When you make the shift to become a full-time university student, it’s important to be well prepared. Not only should you be clear about what goals you want to achieve, but making sure you have balance in your life is critical in achieving them.
The early years of your university life present an opportunity to develop some good work habits and discipline. At the same time, the commitment needed when studying for your degree can be quite intense, depending on what major you have chosen, and all-consuming for three or four years.
So how can you set yourself up for success while also enjoying a balanced life?
For those with a lack of discipline, developing a plan or schedule can certainly help, and can also determine whether you can achieve everything that you want to. During this process, make a list of what’s important to you outside of your study — whether it be family, friends, exercise, or travel — and prioritise the things that matter most.
Maybe you even need to put some goals or activities on pause for a while.
During your journey, there are also some questions you can ask yourself, which will help you assess the status of your desired balanced life:
• Are you satisfied with life, work, and your relationships?
• Do you feel healthy — emotionally, physically, and spiritually?
• Do you feel you have a sense of control over your life?
• Do you still find time for fun?
Of course, along the way there may be times when you are confronted by high levels of stress, whether it’s the result of a heavy study load, financial worries or some unexpected events in your personal life.
This can make you feel overwhelmed and can also hurt your motivation at university. So how can you prepare yourself for these kinds of situations?
Perhaps take a fresh look at your goals and reaffirm with yourself that they are right; reassess your list of important things and adjust them if necessary, though ensure study remains a primary focus; why not give yourself a little treat or reward every time you complete a goal or task you have set yourself?
Throughout your time at university, remember to check in with yourself every now and then to see if you’re still maintaining balance in your life.
If you find you’re lacking in some of areas, reassess everything to see how you can restore some balance. If you’re expectations are too high and too difficult to sustain, consider toning them down slightly, at least for a while; learn to say no occasionally; adjust your schedules so they are more manageable. And, perhaps most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
* This article first appeared in The Borneo Post (www.theborneopost.com)