How to Create a Balance between Study life and Social life?

So university has begun, fresher’s week has ended and you find yourself dazed. Walking around campus with coffee in one hand and a map in the other. Then suddenly the memories of your crazy social life, over a holiday period, filled with partying packed summer have become a thing of the past. As harsh reality looms over, the realisation hits you. You’ve actually got to do some work!!

The question is, however, how is it going to work out? How, exactly, does a university student learn to dismiss their old party ways and find a happy medium between socialising and studying?

It’s important to prioritise; remember why you are at university and what the end goal is. With the new found freedom of living without parental supervision, it’s hard to find a balance between the academic and social spheres of university life. However, it is possible if you firstly, have self-discipline and secondly realise that it is not necessarily the end of the world if you miss the occasional night out with your friends.

Talking from experience, when I started university, I worked hard during the week so that I could enjoy my weekends, without the burden of deadlines looming over me or the guilt of unfinished assignments. As soon as Friday night came, I put down the pen and paper and picked it up again on a Monday morning. Now, understandably, this will not work for everyone; numerous priorities such as part-time weekend jobs or sports team matches will alter the days in which you do have for social time and your time. So, find the days that work for you!

Girl and boy riding bike

Hear me out. Once you’ve got into the swing of things at university, (and this may take a week or two), subconsciously you’ll start to step into a routine - so write it down! Make a schedule of when lectures are, when extra-curricular activities are when study time is and then leave yourself a day or two for things like socialising/ running errands. Doing the odd-jobs that go unnoticed, or simply set those days aside for some YOU time!

Another suggestion I would highly recommend is to join a society. University is a hunting ground for new students such as yourselves, as everyone wants to persuade you to join their club! Be it football, jujitsu, drama or chess societies, not only come with the chance to obtain new skills but most of the time, they are also accompanied with like-minded people that share the same interests as you and thus a vibrant and promising social life can begin to form.

University is vastly different from school in the sense that you have fewer contact hours (hours in lectures) as you normally would. From this, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming, for example, that five hours of lectures a week is all you have to do and socialising takes up the rest. So, another piece of advice would be to structure your day as if it were a school day. For example attend lectures, study and then leave evenings free for whatever comes your way. Do not feel overwhelmed by university and the realisation that yes, your social life is partially more restricted than it used to be. However true friends will always be there for you when you come back from whatever you’re doing and seeing less of them is simply part of growing up. As you start to focus on other things such as yourself and the career path that engages you most. Finally, you could integrate socialising with studying by finding work buddies from your course – studying together not only helps brain waving ideas but also helps you to feel less isolated than say, studying alone in your room.

Most importantly, university is going to be great. Make the most of your lecturers and feed off their knowledge, by interrogating them with any questions you have – after all, they are there to help. Above all, when you do have time for nights out, enjoy them!!! Make the most of the student bars, the societies, and get to know your flatmates too. It is an experience like no other, and if you find the right balance you’ll greatly enjoy all aspects of it.

Undergraduate, University West London


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