Life as a student is very often underrated. Trying to juggle studies, student loans, part time jobs, all the while building relationships and strengthening others is no mean feat. It is tiring but frequently overlooked as being just another stage in life when you “don’t have kids, have less bills to pay and are generally burdened with less on your shoulder.” So older adults scoff when students attempt to seek help when, by the end of the day, they feel like a track ran over them, pulled up and reversed when it saw them struggling to stand up. No, it is not easy. While many forget what it is like to live through this period (or maybe they had it easier for some personal reason or other), we haven’t – which is why the sole reason of this article is to help you out.
We have collected 4 student life hacks of the trade to make your life that much easier to cope with. It is no secret recipe for unlimited supply of leisure time, far from it. Think of it as words of advice from people who have been there, made the same mistakes and don’t want you following in their footsteps. Following these tips will, at the very least, make you feel less battered, like sitting contentedly on a bench as the proverbial truck of that busy life speeds by.
1.) Your time, like your money, is not unlimited.
Very often we drop the whole situation like it were a tonne of bricks on our own two feet. The first thing everyone has to realise before committing to anything is the fact that our time is in fact in very short supply. Some of us seem to be stuck at a younger age, when the days stretched out infinitely and we were bored to death, begging for someone to give us meaning and purpose in life. Ladies and gents, as you might have realised for yourselves, we are not exactly living out those days anymore. So why are we still trying to fit 35 hours in 24? You don’t have that kind of free time any more. The sooner you realise this, the sooner you’ll be able to start managing your time more efficiently.
Tip: We used to find it extremely helpful to buy a desk calendar in a month-to-view format. Having a bird’s eye view of the days ahead will help you avoid stuffing appointments when there is no time for them. You don’t have to write down a lot of details – this calendar is there to help you manage the overwhelming feeling you get when you’re so buy it’s suffocating. If there’s too much already inked in on the calendar, ease up, and move to the next month.
2.) Plan ahead and allocate time for activities which will help you earn income
This is something you should really take your time to do well. Unless you want to take an odd job at the diner downtown, find what your strengths are and use them to your advantage. In today’s social world, where online users are just one big community looking to learn something or to buy something online, the possibilities are endless.
Tip: Here are some ideas to get you started: If you’re into DIY projects, why not find something you love doing and sell it online? In today’s commercial world, there’s a huge market for lovingly crafted, hand made objects. If you have a keen eye for statistics and numbers, you could try online trading. This comes in various forms: stock trading, forex trading, binary trading. Do some research first and perhaps talk to someone who has some experience in the field but once you understand the underlying concepts, the returns could be huge! Freelancing is also a great way to make money, be it graphic design, content writing or remotely managing digital campaigns.
3.) Never say NO to Help
We’ll go as far as saying that you’d be silly to refuse it. While it is understandable that some of us want to do it all on our own steam, or that maybe we’re too proud to admit that we need help, all this stems from a wrong perception of what being offered assistance really entails. When someone helps you out, it’s not just about having a lighter load to bear, it’s also about learning from someone else in the process. It’s a win-win situation on all fronts. It also builds interpersonal relationships and your mind will be grateful for it.
Tip: Help can come in many forms. If you’re adamant that you don’t wish to seek help from someone else because it is a personal issue, for example, why don’t you look for alternative help? If you’re a writer and you’re feeling stuck for inspiration, check out creative writing prompts which should help you get those creative juices flowing. If you’re an online trader as in the suggestion above, there are automated bots which save you hours on the onerous task of checking news and currency market movements. If your problem has more to do with inefficient time management, try the Pomodoro technique to break down your work in intervals.
4.) Priorities, people!
What will cause the least hassle: missing gym class which you can always replace on any other day (even if you’d be going alone and not with you friend) or the dentist which has been booked for two months – and it was his earliest availability? Sometimes, to be able to effectively manage our time, we need to shoulder the duty of doing not what we feel like doing but what needs to be done. We often lose sight of this because we tell ourselves we’re young and should have more fun, etc – which is true. But, as we all find out sooner than later, just doing what we feel like doing ends up building a stack of the “really important stuff” which needs doing. That is the moment we start panicking.
Tip: Remember, this article’s aim is to help you have more time you can dedicate to things you want to do. So whenever a decision has to be taken, start by asking yourself: Which of the two options will have an even larger negative impact in the long run if it is not done? Which one is more easily replaceable/done without? Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to be spontaneous every once in a while but make sure the rest of your life is not left hanging because of a series of fun, spontaneous decisions. It takes a lot of discipline, we know, but you’ll find it’s much easier to cope with things when you take a sensible approach.
Like we said, these tips are not the be all and end all, they’re guidelines (and far from conclusive!) to help you live more efficiently when days get really tough. Ultimately, these days will shape you in the adult you will be tomorrow. Do you want to look back on them fondly? The ball is, very often, in your court.