Introducing the Student Series

So, hello! I took a bit of inspiration from Vix Meldrew’s Glow & Grow podcast & decided that I was ready to start a series, so here I present; The Student Series! It’ll be covering all kinds of topics from a student perspective & not claiming to be an expert, but more wanting to open the discussion to the parts of being a student that are not always talked about (please head over to my Twitter to find out more & chat with me about the kind of topics you’d like to see!).

The first topic I’m going to be covering is ‘time’. As a student, lecture ‘contact’ time differs depending on the degree, but it tends to be a LOT lower than an average working week. Then you’re left with the ‘time’ to do independent study and before you know it, the deadlines are stacking up. Without the structure of a working week, it is easy to feel a bit ‘all over the place’ when it comes down to how you spend your time. It’s also easy to feel overwhelmed, when all of your deadlines are ‘bunched’ together (I’ve written a post all about this which you can read here). But one of the key parts of feeling overwhelmed is feeling like you don’t have the time, or as such, you don’t know how to use your time.

If you’re like me, feeling like that is when the planning mode comes in & all the to-do lists are created, but this can hinder productivity by doing so. It’s not easy, but here are a few tips & tricks to hopefully help you juggle your time as much as possible.

Know what you want to do

The main way to ensure you can do everything that you want to, whether that’s a night out, going to the gym, visiting home etc, means you have got to incorporate the planning aspect (yay!). By working out what you’ve got to do and when, means hopefully you’ll be clearer in your mindset, feel more in control of whats going on around you and know where you can add last minute plans in (just a heads up, this is something I definitely need to perfect). Essay deadlines tend to be set months in advance so although they may seem ages away, to combat feeling stressed work out what you can do in the meantime & go from there.

Find pockets of time

Sometimes this is one of the best ways for productivity. Every so often, I tend to excel at some work done during a half an hour train journey, compared to two hours sat at a desk. By breaking the big pieces of work into smaller chunks can make it easier (& less overwhelming!). It might make your to-do list look bigger, but even just simplifying a deadline into steps; plan, reading, draft 1, draft 2 etc, will hopefully be clearer as to what needs to be done to achieve bigger tasks.

Take time to unwind

It might feel like an endless juggle of time, but doing too much of uni or social can lead to ‘burn out’. It’s important to recognise that you need your own time (even if you love being in others company), because we all need time to process our own thoughts or just have some downtime. Schedule in some time for you, have some space from everything and enjoy your evenings.

Remember to do things at your own pace

The thing is everyone’s way of working is different. You might work better in the mornings or better in the evenings, but take it at your own pace. It’s easy to make comparisons between the time you spend working, compared to the amount of time your housemates are. But the probable reality is that everyone is overwhelmed, but just dealing with it in their own way. Don’t worry – you’ve got this!

There we go, the Student Series has been introduced! I’m really excited about this and have a few topics in mind for upcoming posts, but please let me know what you’d love to read!

Im x

Friendships

So, over the last week or so, I’ve done a fair amount of reflection, almost preparing myself for the next chapter. Through this, I’ve reminded myself of some pretty fabulous people that I have in my ‘circle’ & I’m incredibly lucky for that. But in our ever growing digital world, more & more, you see friends, couples etc, spending time together and they’re glued to their phones. I’ve been guilty to this probably more times than I’ll admit, but taking some time away from devices for quality time with friends, family or your other half, can often do the world of good.

Friendships are there for the good times & the bad times. Yes, you’ll disagree, bicker, have different views, but typically, friends accept you for who you are & choose to spend time with you, simply because they like your company.

In a way, I think we need to remind ourselves of that. Our growing attachment to social media doesn’t always help, the comparisons we let ourselves make, between our lives and those who we see on social media. You’re sat at home on a friday evening with a glass of wine, quietly minding your own business (& probably secretly quite enjoying being in on a friday night). But before you know it, you’ve seen everyone’s instagram stories, out with their friends & it can make you doubt everything.

Over the years, lifestyles get busier, catch up takes longer, and sometimes if something significant happens, knowing who to rely on is key. Although this may not always be so clear, friendships present themselves in different ways. For me, this year, most of my friendships have become long distance as we are all scattered around the UK and so keeping in touch with the majority of my friends has been through a device. In September, something pretty significant affected my lifestyle and knowing how to let people know felt a bit confusing. Do I just blurt it out over text? Even scheduling a FaceTime or phone call and having to say it out loud felt weird. With one of my friends, I decided to send a long rambly snapchat video (top vlogger I know) of me basically saying ‘I need to tell you something, give me a call asap’.

Friendships drift for so many different reasons, and so although being attached to devices and social media can hinder friendships, a simple text could be all that it needs to get back in touch with someone you’ve drifted from. Finding the balance of face-to-face time with friends and digital communication seems to be one of the ways forward and take it from me, managing a long distance friendship or relationship isn’t always easy with digital communication, it can be so easy for things to get misunderstood. So it’s one to think about, your support ‘circle’ doesn’t mean everyone has to know and get on with each other, it just means you’re there for them & they’re there for you, whether you’re communicating with or without digital communication.