Going to university is for most people, the greatest experience of their lives. Meeting new people, learning new skills, educating your mind and, let’s not forget, the night life and social scenes are what these beautifully stressful years are made of.

I know I am not alone when I talk of how I let my studies build up and fall behind due to my late nights and vast and varied procrastinations, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and ways in which you can balance your life in order to make the most of your time at university, whilst still making memories you’ll never forget.

Learn to Prioritise…

The key to a successful balancing act is not to become a juggler, or even a plate spinner, but to learn to prioritise what is most important to you and balance your life accordingly. If you miss a personal tutor meeting due to a chance encounter with an old friend and a catch up is in order, don’t stress about it. Life happens. Spontaneity plays its own role in the key to happiness, so don’t forget to let yourself have fun and relax – the key to contentment is balance.

…But Don’t Prioritise Nights Out Over Your Studies

Studies may, as many state, come first. It is important whilst at university you prove you’re worth your salt and push yourself to the greatest degree that’s right for you.

To be thousands of pounds in debt for a qualification you know you could have bettered would be a very anticlimactic way to end you university life. Nevertheless, to work hard is to play hard. A social life will keep you balanced and offer much needed down-time from your studies, a chance to recharge your batteries and prepare yourself for the next Godforsaken assignment.

Be Social

Work out ways to study together with friends – you can encourage each other and take breaks together. Just make sure you do more work than relaxing and you’re on to a winner.

Take some time to participate in sport and enjoy being active. Aside from the obvious health benefits, exercise will help clear your mind and encourage you to focus on your work. All universities offer sporting societies where you can keep fit and make friends, perfect for combining pastimes and making what might have been a repetitive trip to the gym into a weekly rounders game with your new best mates.

Many people whilst at university fall into cosy relationships and embrace a more ‘grown up’ love life than that of their high school boyfriend who snuck in and out of windows at night. Whether you live together or see each other a few times a week, a healthy relationship offers partners support and kindness when times get tough, and a best buddy to party with when celebrations are in order.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Initially balancing each of these factors is a task in itself, but maintaining a balance between all of these factors can be hard. Sometimes the metaphorical juggler’s ball has to drop before you re-evaluate and find where the focus of this balance should be. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, after all how would anyone ever learn without an error being made? Balancing can be hard but don’t forget, as Ferris Bueller quoted, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

How do you balance your life, loves and leisure time?

Alice is a keen writer originally from Belfast, now living in the greatest city of the North – Leeds. She writes for The GKBC Writers Academy and in her spare time she tries to make friends with next door neighbours’ dogs.

(Featured image courtesy of Tulane Public Relations)