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Finding the 'right' balance

After the excitement has settled, the reality of why you’re at university will hit you.

You’ll suddenly be required to take personal responsibility for your own studies – deciding when, what and how you’ll study, as well as who with. You’ll be balancing a new social and academic life – forming new relationships and developing bonds with lots of people inside and outside of university. At the same time, you’ll be building your independence – working out how to manage your own finances and to look after yourself well. To top it all off, you’ll be doing it in a place you’re unfamiliar with, without your trusty support network around you.

However, please don’t be put off, it can be done. University will be the making of you and you’ll have an experience like no other. You may even surprise yourself with what you can handle. Knowing how to balance your social, study and work aspects of your new life is and will always be a work in progress and university is a good way to start practising.

Here are some common examples of when things can become ‘unbalanced’:

  • When you’re studying hard and you don’t look after yourself by eating unhealthily and not exercising.
  • You’ve left your course work to the last minute and now have to deal with multiple deadlines which are all due the same week.
  • You hang out with all your new friends who all have different timetables and workloads to you, leaving you with no time to yourself or to study.
  • You have to work your part-time job instead of revising for an upcoming exam.
  • You meet that ‘someone’ and nothing else matters now.

Finding the ‘sweet spot’ between study, socialising and other activities will be unique to you and it’ll be different to your friends. In the next three Steps, we’ll break down each of these aspects a little further to help you prepare for what’s to come.

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This article is from the free online course:

Live Smart: Your Essential Guide to Living at University

University of Reading