In university, it becomes important to effectively balance the primary purpose of being on campus (school) with every (and I mean every) other activity you have going on.
From my first year in school, I was always involved in multiple activities. I worked at the school’s radio as an OAP, I worked as an event host within and outside the school and the state. I worked with several magazines, writing for them, raising funds, planning events etc. I had obligations in church…phew!
In my final year, there was the main school project, several committees, freelance writing jobs, a sewing and a buying and selling business, a costume creative group, and of course church.
For a student, this is equivalent to having side jobs and a main job. In this case, the main job is school and that is your starting point. How do you juggle all of this?
1. Your primary focus will determine the spare time you have
Like it or not, love the school (course) or not, you are bound by your academic schedule. That is your 9-5. (Or 6.30-5 in some cases ).
When you have your school schedule (timetable ) down to a pat, then you can begin to fix other pieces in place.
2. Work smart,not hard.
Cliché but true. And no, I am not advocating for class skipping. It will go a long way to help balance your multitasking if you quickly figure out which classes are necessary, important, compulsory and useful.
I have seen students wait around for the next class, staying on in spite of there being no classes. They just hang around. Except when you are networking or gathering information, you don’t have that luxury.
3. Every second of the day counts.
You work with time. 30 minutes is ample time to fix one or two things within a given period. You might end up wasting time if you have no idea how to effectively use the free moments you have.
4. Know those who can help you ease your burden.
In this case, the “who” will be your class representative. A cordial relationship with your class representative puts you in a position of information.
A typical day for me starts the night before. I call my class representative to ask for shifting class schedules, classes most likely not to hold, vital information and anything that will save me from making an unnecessary trip inside school.
A good school squad (if your squad is not in your class), is needed to cover up lapses in the case you get stuck conducting other business. They are your support team.
5. Follow a daily plan
My planning culture from school has helped me till this moment. I make a weekly plan, a very big one. It is colour coded to accommodate classes, meetings, jobs, church obligations, business and whatever I might have going on, including fun time (totally needed). Then I break them into smaller blocks by the days.
I then proceed to pen into my mini planner (small enough to fit into an average clutch purse) the activities that are high on the priority list outside school, because that is a constant. The list in my mini planner are the things I must complete. These are the jobs, clothes to sew, meetings, assignments, etc. You consult this planner like an Oracle on an hourly basis. Ticking off one completed task after the other can be fulfilling.
Finally getting yourself into a good head space each morning will go a long way to prepare you for your almost topsy-turvy day. Personally, for me to start a productive day, I need the following; prayer, exercise, a glass of water and a good breakfast.
NB: Priscilla’s all important bag contents for a work day
1. A tote bag (to carry everything!)
2. Bottled water
3. A fruit/chocolate bar
6. Slippers (for when I wear heels or loafers)
7. My planner
8. Any work related items
10. Hand lotion
11. Lip gloss
12. Wipes and mini tissues
14. A cabman. He won’t fit into a bag but is necessary for mobility.