Cram, binge and nodoze: maintaining healthy life balance as a student

#1

It’s 5am. You’ve stayed up all night doing your essay and you still don’t have all your footnotes organized. You have to finish in an hour because you have to cram for the two test papers you have in the afternoon. Being a uni student really has its moments.

Even as a Christian, it’s easy to get caught up in the lifestyle of constantly going hard. With study, parties and socializing it’s easy to see how late nights can become the norm in a uni students life. But failing to maintain a healthy life balance for a sustained length of time can quickly wear down your health and motivation.

Though having a Christian faith can really help you get through tough times at uni, many students find it challenging to keep a firm hold on faith and values in the university environment. If these are important to you, you will need to work on putting some habits and accountabilities in place. Putting some structure into your life can help you to get through the myriad of assessments, exams and life choices before you.

Constant all-nighters can have damaging effects on your mind and body. If you push yourself long enough there is even the risk of developing depression and other mental health issues. Socialising and having fun is an important part of life, but if you social life is keeping you out most nights of the week, it may be time to reassess and find some balance.

Make church attendance a priority. Even at the height of exams or assignment due dates. Many people cut back on their church attendance to have more time for uni work, but taking time to worship together with other believers will refresh and inspire to be more effective with the time you have. Joining a Christian group on campus will also help you to develop connections with people who can walk alongside you in your faith journey.

#2 Study and assessments can become extremely overwhelming. Typically full time students do around four subjects a semester, each with their own readings, major and minor assessments, presentations and exams. Keep track of all your assessment deadlines and schedule in start dates for all of them at the beginning of the semester. This will help you avoid leaving everything to the last minute and will give you enough time to think through your approach and research. The sooner you start working on your assessments, the less pressure you’ll feel when the deadline gets close. You may even find that you can finish your assessment a few days before it’s due, which gives you time to re-read and make final edits if needed. If you finish early enough, you could even ask your tutor or lecturer for some feedback on your assessment, which may help you to get a better mark.

Uni can be a lot of fun, but ultimately you are there to develop your skills and knowledge and to attain a qualification that will get you ahead in life. You can either survive or thrive in your time at uni, the choices you make will determine which.

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