After almost a year at uni, I’ve come up with some strategies for making my life a bit easier and less stressful, hopefully you’ll be able to find them helpful too.
1. Have a go-to spot
I think this is probably the most important thing; you can easily waste so much time wandering around trying to find somewhere to sit. Over time you will learn where the best spots are, and when they’re free. For example, if you’re desperate to sit in the OGGB, either get there earlier or wait for when classes start and try to snag a table when everyone leaves. But, the best thing you can do, is find a reliable place that’s almost always free. It might be a particular level of the library, or a specific courtyard, but as long as you have somewhere you can go and not have to walk around in circles waiting for a free space, your life will be so much easier.
I’m a bit of a meticulous planner, so I like to have a really good idea of how I’m going to spend my day and what needs to be achieved. You don’t have to go to the lengths of planning hour-by-hour or anything, but I have noticed my friends who have a rough plan of what they need to do each day and week are more on top of things and less stressed than those who don’t. So tip number two is sit down each morning and take 5-10 mins to figure what you need to do that day.
3. Remember to treat yourself
As students, we do tend to live quite frugally, but that doesn’t mean you should make yourself miserable! Set aside a little bit of money each week to spend on something just for you, be it an ice cream, or a brownie or whatever. This was something I didn’t really do in semester one, but it’s definitely helped turn around some difficult days this semester. The little things do make a difference.
4. Find a nice bathroom
This should really be number one, because it is absolutely vital. Not that any of the uni bathrooms are bad, it’s just some of them are just nicer than others. For instance, the downstairs OGGB bathrooms have way more cubicles than the upstairs ones, so you never have to awkwardly wait. Unlike in the General Library, where there’s almost always a wait – so Kate Edgar is usually my choice for that side of the campus.
5. Active breaks
Another thing I kinda neglected in Semester One and have only come to appreciate this semester. I’m far from a sporty person, so for me, this consists of just going for a walk around the CBD or the Domain – but you wouldn’t believe the difference an active break from study has. If I’ve been struggling to understand a task or unable to focus, then usually taking a walk helps and I’m able to come back to my desk and be far more productive. Just don’t do anything too strenuous or you’ll just want to go for a nap!
So that’s my advice for ensuring you don’t get overwhelmed by work and can stay relatively happy.