How to juggle your course and your social life

university life

By Pamela Head,

University makes no secret of the fact that it’s essentially a social hub of activity with some study thrown in. But how do you get that balance where you have fun but don’t flunk?

During fresher’s week, you’re encouraged to party hard at various student nights, so take advantage of it. You’ve got no work, no classes in the morning and you’re footloose, fancy free, surrounded by uni nightlife and looking to meet new people so this is the ideal time for you to take advantage of every social event going and have your fill.

When classes start, however, you’re into a different ballgame. Now is when you need to start weighing up whether you have work to do the next day or an assignment or essay due in and make that judgment call.

My advice would be: No matter how tempting that night out tonight is, remember, you’re paying an extortionate amount of money, getting yourself into debt and have moved away from home in the pursuit of a degree, not a party. I love student nights… but I love my degree more.

Say you’ve got reading to do for the next morning and there’s a raging party going on. You can either risk being shouted at and dismissed from the class for not doing the work required and have fond memories – or not if you’ve had a bit too much of ye olde beer – or you can stay in, do the work and potentially miss out on the biggest night of the year.

Now, if you’re sensible and plan a little, you’ll be able to do the perfect juggling act. Do your reading as soon as it’s set and make sure you’ve cleared your workload for the day after a big night. That way, you can have the best of both worlds and only have to cope with sitting through aforementioned seminar or lecture with a monstrous hangover and little sleep under your belt.

There are some occasions where it is most definitely not okay to go out, however. When you have deadlines. Work is important – if you miss a deadline or an assessment then you’ll receive a zero mark and it’ll dramatically affect your degree. So just don’t risk it.

I’m sorry, I really am, but sometimes you need to miss that huge Halloween party that everyone is going to because you’ve got a 3,000-word essay due in in a few days. It’s just the way it goes sometimes and you’ll have more than enough opportunity to make it up to yourself another time.

As long as you’re sensible, realistic and don’t put your degree in serious jeopardy, then you’re good to go. But make sure you’re fair and don’t designate work as unimportant simply because that social event is ‘too good to miss’ – nothing is ever worth messing up your future and finances for.