University can (is) very blinkin’ hard at times. It can be overwhelming and distressing and OTT. It can make you cry or want to tear your hair out or remain under a blanket watching Netflix for the rest of your existence. Coming to university and studying is one of the hardest things I’ve done and well, it doesn’t get any easier as the years go on despite you becoming more of an old hand at it.
Organisation is key to me being able to operate at uni as I’m always trying to do several things at once whilst also doing nothing at all, if that makes any sense? I’ve really been struggling in the last few weeks as deadlines have slowly filtered in and I’m panicking big time about everything.
A huge crisis of confidence coupled with the darker nights coupled with being irritated with my blog has meant university has been trickier than usual recently.
Which darn sucks. I can’t believe I’m in my third year already as I often feel like I’m getting worse at this whole university malarkey so I thought I’d share a few tips I’m using to survive (okay being dramatic) in case anyone else is struggling at this half way marker and just wants Christmas to hurry the eff up.
Get Up At A Good Time
If I can get up in good time in the morning, I swear there is 77% chance that my day will be more successful. Floundering in bed, lovely as it is, just makes me super sleepy and chilled and a bit unmotivated for the rest of the day.
Over the summer I discovered the Bedtime section in the Clock on the iPhone and well, i has changed my life. It calculates how much sleep you’ll get if you go to bed at a certain time and get up a certain time but I mostly love it for the bedtime reminder (very handy if you are deep in a Netflix show) and the soothing alarm.
This alarm lulls you out of your sleep gently and kindly which I am all about it. I think if it was a physical thing, it would be a magical forest garden party. It sounds like the theme tune to that sort of scenario.
I also have an actual alarm clock which I sit on my bookcase which is set for half an hour after I should haven gotten up if the fairy alarm hasn’t woken me up as it means I have to physically get out of bed to switch it off.
I’m a big fan of the written word and I love having literal lists instead of lots of technology keeping me in check. I’ve been using a diary from Ohh Deer since November’s Papergang box last year and I can’t imagine life without it.
I put everything into my diary: uni classes, deadlines, work bits, social occasions. Everything. If I’m doing it, it is in the diary. I’ll never forget the time I triple booked in 2015 when I committed to a party at my friend’s, a hair cut and helping out my mum’s pal. V awkward when that day arrived.
Things like that don’t happen anymore due to my diary and it especially helpful for deadlines as I can plan my week around knowing when something is due and when I need to allocate time towards it. That system is failing right this moment however when I am watching YouTube and writing this post instead of working on my Reformation presentation due Monday.
This semester I have a grand total of 5 essays, 1 gobbet and 4 presentations due in the space of six weeks. Which does make me want to vomit down myself and have a little cry. Having a physical list with dates really helps me to focus in what needs to be prioritised and reminds me what needs done and when.
I tend to stick mine up above my desk so whenever I’m working there, it is a constant reminder (or a threat, make of it what you will) and I have a copy in my diary and my blogging notebook. I don’t know why I wrote one in my blogging notebook, maybe to remind me SHIT YOU ARE HERE TO STUDY YOU KNOW if I’m procrastinating by blogging again.
But yas, a write down of all your deadlines is the bomb for me, to keep me on top of things and not suddenly panicking because it is week 8 and I have a presentation due in two days and I didn’t know because I hadn’t written it down anywhere.
Meal Plan & Shopping List
I am currently working on a little something that it going to keep me on top of my healthier lifestyle that I am aspiring towards which is totally irrelevant to the point I am trying to make but HEYA things might be happening with The Monday Project.
But I find eating healthier/being organised with food/not wasting all my money on countless trips to Tesco/having a shopping list to work from does all the good things to me if everything else is getting on top of me as it means there isn’t something else piling on top of me.
Having healthy study snacks and being organised with dinners so it doesn’t get to 8pm and SHIT what will I eat as I hate all my food and then wasting 3 hours going to the shop and buying unhealthy things because I’m hungry and cooking something I don’t end up eating as I snacked on chocolate and crisps beforehand.
Not Giving A F*ck
Reading The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck is in fact life changing. University is very overwhelming socially as you are only in actual uni about 10-12 hours a week (most Arts students are anyway) and so much socialising rotates around alcohol and clubs and partying.
There is nothing wrong with that but it just wrecks me. Hangovers totally ruin me and mess me up and make the most unproductive and dramatic person ever. So this semester I just stopped and well mostly, it’s been lush. There are some times when I do feel a bit down about it but for the most part, this semester has been the best yet.
I’m mostly meeting my deadlines and I’m making fun plans for the weekend and working my blog and it is all going quite swimmingly, well, for the most part.
Have Something You Can Escape To
I would be lost at uni without my blog. It is my little place to escape to (as I’m doing right now) when I can’t face coursework or I’ve got a spare evening. I can just write and scribble and think up content ideas, giving my mind the perfect break from my studies (lol).
It allows me to escape and just do some different. Something else to think about and put my mind towards. It also allows me to focus on something else for a little while and move out of the uni circle.
Give Yourself A Break
This is so important and something I sure as hell need to listen more. University is pretty intense and it is kind of hard to switch off from everything as there is always something due or something new to work on.
Which is great and exciting but also very overwhelming. It is completely to have a weekend off and do something fun or treat yourself to an evening of TV. Don’t run yourself into the ground trying to work because of guilt as it’ll just result in you stressing out and not doing your best work. It is okay ti give yourself a break.