Tips for Students – Act of Balance

By Debbie Vaes

Do you have the feeling you’re constantly having to give up fun for the sake of maintaining decent grades? Or whenever you seem to be having too much fun (if there is such a thing) it affects your grades negatively?

Well, here comes your rescue in the shape of some indispensable tips to help you in balancing both.

First off, try to avoid sleeping in for hours when you don’t have early classes. It swallows up so much of your day that you could be spending in a different way. Just wake up at a decent hour, have an easy-going breakfast ritual and then do a few small tasks that need to be done in order to finish your assignments. If you work in small amounts of time consistently and regularly, it pays off in the end. I know it can be a hard task, but when you do this regularly it will become one of those small habits that help you out a lot with the bigger picture.

What also helps is breaking up big assignments into smaller chunks and putting them on a to-do list. The app Wunderlist is great for this. Every time you cross off a smaller task it feels rewarding. This way, you are helping yourself get closer to the goal of finishing up that big assignment without having to stress out last-minute. Motivate yourself into finishing your tasks by making a deal to do something relaxing once you’ve finished a few smaller tasks. You can go for lunch or coffee with friends in the day, for example.

You should also keep track of various deadlines. Mark them in your diary in colour so you are reminded of them. That way you aren’t surprised by impending deadlines, and it saves a lot of stress.

Once you have finished a big assignment and handed it in before the deadline, reward yourself accordingly. Celebrate by going on a day trip or having a weekend away nearby.

Another useful tip, suitable for Erasmus students in particular, concerns incorporating study time into their many travels. A good place to stay on top of your work for university is the bus or train or while waiting between transfers. We usually spend a few hours on them anyway, so why not make these useful? Be productive while traveling to your destination instead of dozing off constantly. Even if you aren’t on the road for that long, this time can still be used to cross off a few small tasks on your to-do list.