How to balance life and study as a master's student
Hello everyone! My name is Nate, I am an International postgraduate student from the United States. I am studying my Masters in Strength and Conditioning here at Leeds Beckett and I play rugby union for the university team.
There are lots of things to consider when balancing your personal and academic lives. I would like to share some ideas for developing strategies for students to balance their lives with their academic studies.
Know your priorities
The most important thing is to know your priorities. Everyone has a different situation when it comes to school and their personal lives, and your division of time is not the same as your division of attention.
Myself being a student athlete, team training sessions and workouts may only be a few hours a day, but it is something I prioritize to make sure I am 100% committed to being there and getting the most out of those sessions. I would not miss a session to catch up on schoolwork or socialize with friends because it is a priority to me. Knowing what you want out of your academic experience can help you set your priorities and help you budget your time efficiently and get the most out of your academic experiences.
One more tip I would suggest is to always make yourself a priority. One of the great things about going to university is that it helps you become a more well-rounded individual in terms of your knowledge base, and part of that is interpersonal knowledge or knowing yourself. Get to know how you operate most effectively academically and personally. For example, I know I need a good night's sleep to be at my best for class and sport the next day. I try to finish any schoolwork at least a few hours before bed to give my brain some time to relax to some TV shows or a good book. Academically I take feverish, hand-written notes during all my lectures and type them up a few days later to help refresh my memory and go over any material I need more understanding on again. Everyone operates differently, so I encourage everyone to try different strategies for getting the most out of themselves to find what works best.
Once you find what works best for you stick to that system as best you can, unless you find a new one that works better, and so on as you continue to learn more about yourself and how you work best. Treating yourself as a priority will help you get the most out of all other areas of your life. It is difficult to accomplish anything worth doing if you are always tired, sick, or not feeling your best mentally or physically.
Know your finances
Work and your financial situation can play a large role on your ability to manage your time and attention. Whether you are paying your own way, assisted by student loans, or any other way in which you can financially get through school, it can be difficult to get by sometimes.
Try not to stress, remember you are part of a wonderful university that wants you to succeed so talk to your advisors if you need some help figuring things out. When it comes to jobs, find one or more that work with you and your schedule. Chances are that, as a student, your studies are a high priority for you. Find jobs that know this and want to help you achieve your goals. I have this wonderful job with the Blog Squad, and I am also an International Student Ambassador for Leeds Beckett; these jobs allow me to work when I have time so I can focus on my studies. Leeds Beckett University is a great place to look for work, as I mentioned before they have a vested interest in your success and there are usually jobs available that can accommodate your student life.
When balancing your life and studies there is plenty to consider between everything going on in your life. Make sure to set your priorities so you can focus your time and attention to areas that you deem important. Take care of you first, so you can give the best version of yourself to all areas of your life. When balancing work and your financial situation make sure to make things work with a schedule that fits as best as possible with your priorities and being able to take care of yourself. Hopefully, you can take away something from this post to help you get off to a great start in school and life in the new year.