Our days lately have been mostly consumed with school, class mainly (and volunteering for Denise). It’s been good though because it’s our fourth year and we’ve kind of picked up on the number one key to success in University, which is BALANCE.
The reading never ends but making time for daily enjoyment is an absolute must. Unfortunately, the majority of students around us follow the “go big or go home” kind of mentality. All work and no play, GRADES, GRADES, GRADES. (Or sometimes the opposite! All play and no work–> common for first years) The pressure to get into grad school is overwhelming by fourth year, since a lot of our classmates are preoccupied with the next step in life. In addition to the emphasis put on our grades, as fourth years, we certainly feel the pressure to sort out the next year of our lives.
It’s unfortunate really that the focus in fourth year is not to savour your last moments in school but to compete with all those around you. However, we can truthfully say we have stepped out of that competition a long time ago. We spend most of our time here because we want to!
A lot of students mistake University for being the BIGGEST thing in their lives right now, and it becomes the ultimate preparation for “real life” in fact. However, University is life. No need to wait until you can do fun things because life will always be busy and you will always be under some sort of pressure, except you won’t have summers to wind down 😉
Really, if we were asked to give any person entering University some advice it would be to balance your time. It is absolutely essential. Balance maintains sanity and ultimately keeps you happy. Stress often feels like your new best friend when burdened with hours of school work and endless amounts of papers, but carving a few hours a week, or simply an hour a day to engage in an activity you love is so worth it.
Next, we would have to recommend exercise and a balanced diet. Exercise is, as everyone knows, a stress relief and can really be fun. Do it often, enjoy it, and rest when you need it. As well, eating a balanced diet is a no-brainer, eat well feel well. Also, it always helps to take vitamins to make up for what you are lacking. The math is simple and easy to follow. Be engaged with the quality of your life and days.
Which, then brings us to probably the most overlooked aspect of success that so many students seem to lack, and that is SLEEP. Oh yeah, students are notorious night owls and catching those extra zzz’s will truly influence how engaged you are in class and the quality of work you produce.
And finally, drink lots of water. A lot of students discover the magical powers of coffee once they go to University. This new and wonderful drink that can keep me going for hours! But replacing big tall glasses of water instead of coffee will keep you feeling more energized in the long run and will ensure more quality sleep.
Anyway, that’s our quick list of tips! Hope someone found them useful! We may go into more detail again of how we follow these tips but basically this is what has worked for us. Not to say, we have never faltered or do exceptionally well in school, but overall we enjoy ourselves and do fine.
Until next time,
Denise and Laura
What are your tips for living a balanced lifestyle in school or at work? Anything specific that works for you?