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Finding a work-study balance

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Published: 21 December 2020

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At the University of Sunderland in London, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality education that fits around your life.

That’s why, on average, you’ll only have two days of classes each week – because we know that sometimes things like family life and work need to take priority.

It’s very common for our students to support themselves with a job whilst they’re studying.

But juggling work and study isn’t simple, so how do you balance the two, as well as trying to have a social life?

The answer is planning and self-discipline. Follow our five top tips to find your balance.

1) Don’t keep your employers in the dark

There will inevitably be times when your studies and your work come into conflict. You could have an assignment deadline at the same time as a shift, for example.

You need to let your company know your availability well in advance. Make sure you don’t schedule work for when you need to be in class.

2) Stick to your calendar

Figure out your priorities and how long you’ll need to get everything done, then write it out.

Put down every class and work shift, but remember to schedule in study time, due dates, appointments and anything else.

The most important thing here is to stick with it, try not to fall behind.

3) Expect the unexpected

But no matter how good your calendar is, not everything can be planned for.

Give yourself extra time between tasks to not be slowed down by something taking longer than you thought it would.

4) Avoid procrastination

Leaving things to the last minute is a sure way of rushing and making mistakes.

Instead, break down your tasks into small steps and tick each thing off as you go. That way you’ll be working far better, and significantly lower your stress levels.

Remember, it’s easier to perform well when you take your time and think things through than if you try and cram everything in the night before a deadline.

5) Manage your stress

When you’re working and studying at the same time, it easy to feel stressed. Finding ways of coping with that pressure is important when you’re trying to not get overwhelmed.

Give activities like meditation or yoga a go. Both are known to reduce levels of anxiety and have huge mental health benefits.

If you’re struggling to cope with finding a work-study balance, help is out there for you.

You can speak to our Health and Wellbeing team if you’re struggling. Get in touch with them at londonhealth@sunderland.ac.uk or call on 0207 531 7343. 

Find out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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