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Student Blog

Finding the right balance


Written by
Giulia F.

Giulia began studying Business Administration when she already had a huge commitment - running her own company! Read her blog to find out how she found a balance that worked for her. 

Woman writing notes in notebook with coffee and croissant

Time management is a fundamental skill and is increasingly necessary in modern society. Being organised is even more important for those who study and work at the same time. 

When I decided to begin my university journey, I already had my start-up. I knew I had to find a way to study and at the same time, think about leading my company. I knew that it would not always be simple but I did not reject the idea of proceeding with my studies because I had something great motivating me: the thought of graduating and acquiring all the skills necessary to better manage my company!

These are the fundamental questions to ask yourself before applying to a university program:

• What do I really want to do in my life? 
• Why do I want to get a degree?
• Do I like what I am going to study, and will it be useful for who I want to become?

Your answers will lead you to understand if a degree will help you to achieve your future goals. If you decide studying is right for you, or you are a current student, the following tips could help you to thrive in your studies.

1. Learn to listen to yourself

If you decide to become a student, you can either view the “sacrifice” you are making as your friend or your enemy. Remember that you are making this “sacrifice” for your own happiness. Studying and working are investments in yourself and your future. It is essential to find a job that satisfies you and to study what you really enjoy. Never push yourself to do what you don't want just to make someone else happy.

2. Refine organisational skills and create a study calendar

Motivation and organisation are the keys to success. An important and simple thing you can do is planning your study. Try creating a schedule of your modules and define the study plan for each one of them. A great method is to proceed from week to week. For example, every weekend you can plan which chapters to study for the next week or you could organise it monthly. Whatever method you choose, it is very important to know what you are doing and when. This will enhance productivity by avoiding time-wasting.

3. Find your study rhythm

Include hours for rest and leisure alongside your commitments. Lack of rest can affect ability to memorise, and over time worsens your performance in study and work. Try to set a limit of hours per day to study and establish what times of the day work better for you. You also need to be flexible and not to get frustrated if you occasionally fail to follow the plan. In fact, facing obstacles and knowing how to change them into opportunities is a fundamental skill in study and in life generally. 

4. Do not pursue perfection 

Focus on yourself and not only on getting the highest marks possible. Above all else, try to never compare your results with those of your peers. Everybody has different commitments and paces, so you don't have to feel inferior or less intelligent if someone gets higher grades than yours or if sometimes, you don’t do as well as you had hoped. 

You should try to accept your circumstances by knowing you have put the maximum effort possible into your studies. Avoid perfectionism and accept your limits. In these situations, try to remember your strongest motivations and what initially prompted you to follow the path you are taking.

5. Improve memory techniques to maximise your study efficiency

Find a method to memorise without having to stay on the same pages for too long. Refine the quality of your study rather than the quantity. One hour of study per day instead of five hours might be more effective for you, it’s different for everyone!

Studying in a foreign language you know can be useful because our brain is already engaged in the mental process of translation and therefore memorises what you read much better. 

6. Set short-term objectives

Organise a study calendar to know which are the chapters and the arguments you should study today or tomorrow for certain subjects, rather than not being sure where to start from. It is highly effective to set small daily or weekly goals you can reach. 

Remember that even when moving slowly, you can go far! All steps, no matter how small, bring you closer to your graduation aim! 

Giulia studies Business Administration in Italy.