How to balance university work and extracurricular activities

Finding a balance between studying and extra-curricular activities during term time can prove to be a challenge. As much as you try to stay on top of your work, it seems that there is always something else that needs to be done which takes priority...

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There’s so much to learn and not enough time to do it all. It’s important to remember that you do need a work – life balance, and in order to be successful and enjoy your years at uni, you should try to participate in additional extracurricular activities. 

Obtaining the right equilibrium will help you to make the most of your time at university, succeed in your studies, and help you grow as a person. By participating in any extra-curricular interest, whether its sport, drama or arts, you’ll benefit in learning the necessary skills which can be used in everyday practise as an optometrist and in general such as advanced communication, team work and peer relations. Being a part of various clubs and societies is a great way to relieve stress, take a break, meet new people and try something new.

During my time here I’ve been a member of our university optics society, and continued to work part time on the weekends. Throughout my second year I’ve joined our badminton society where I play socially. As much as you may want to attend every training session, it is important to prioritise and get organised with everything, especially as second year is definitely more content based. So you may find that you miss the odd session or two which is fine, but you may also find that you can focus better after a training session.

The key to participating in activities is planning your time, prioritising what’s important and being organised. The best thing that I found really helped me to stay on top of work and still be able to participate in extracurricular interests was timetabling what needed to be done each week. By setting yourself targets it helps organise and structure your time so that you can be successful not just in university, but during your actual work life. Furthermore knowing that I have part time work on the weekends motivated me to get my university work done throughout the week, and its a great way to stay organised and manage your time, and hopefully make the transition into full time work more efficient.

From personal experience I can say that participating in activities and new things proves to be beneficial and definitely helps with improving levels of productivity. I would recommend that you join as many clubs and societies as you can, and not give up on what you enjoy outside of studying. However during exam times it’s important to remember to prioritise and get the work done, since it is your degree you are working towards!

Jetal Patel
Anglia Ruskin University