How to balance work, university, and your personal life to stay on top of it all

By Emily Stewart-Wooler

It surprises me how many questions I get about how I stay on top of everything. Life is pretty crazy at the moment. I’m in my final year of university, writing my dissertation and I am part of a society committee. I have a part-time job and I am also making plans to move abroad after graduation. 

To some people that might sound like an easy amount to balance, but for me, it’s quite difficult. I wouldn’t change any of it, but I have definitely learnt the art of prioritising. It can be hard to do it, as quite often we all want to do everything ALL of the time, but we’re only human and we only have so many hours in the day. 

One thing I would say to anyone in a similar situation, i.e. at university, is that THAT has to be your priority. At the end of the day, you are spending (or have spent) three years studying for your degree. Not to mention the amount of money involved… That is the priority. 

For me, my second priority is my work. I am extremely fortunate in the fact that I love my job and I love the people I work with. I’m also extremely lucky that they understand that I’m at university and I have said that it must be my priority and to talk to them if I feel like I have too much going on. Communication is so important (a very good life lesson). So, if you have a part-time job and feel a bit overwhelmed, try talking to your manager or boss about how many hours you are doing.

Next, it’s Australia. This is something I am incredibly excited by. I think my friends and family are probably a little bored of it all now because I’m that excited by it — Sorry! But since that is what I am doing after university I have to make sure I am happy with what we are doing. It is also a huge step as not only am I moving in with my best friend/ boyfriend, but we are also moving to the other side of the world!

I would go on and prioritise everything else in my life, but we would be here forever. Something I would always suggest, apart from prioritising, is to cut yourself some slack. There are days when I feel flat and overwhelmed by the sheer amount there is to do. But when I feel like that I take a step back and have some time away from it all. You can’t be your full productive self if you don’t feel on top form. Looking after yourself is so important. So make sure you do it.

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