University can be a daunting experience when you first begin. Near the end some might call University one of the most stressful times of their life while others may say it was the best time of their life. During my own University experience at the University of Ottawa I found that there were three things that helped me to make the most out of it. Although I may refer to specific events offered at my University, I hope that you are able to take some of the suggestions from this blog and transfer them to your own universities offerings! Without further ado, here are the essentials to make the most out of your University experience and achieve a work life balance.
University gives the opportunity for students to get involved in so many different and amazing activities. Some of the common reasons I have heard for not getting involved is thinking that no club or activity is interesting, that there is not enough time in the day to get involved, or being scared to meet new people. I am here to tell you that from my personal experience all of these reasons are nothing to worry about and let me explain why.
When I first started University I remember listening to different people come and pitch their clubs and try to get students to join. While many of them sounded interesting I was hesitant to break out of my comfort zone and join them. Soon after this however, I heard about the intramural program where you can either make or join a team for several different sports. Having always enjoyed playing sports I decided to join basketball and volleyball intramurals. After participating in intramurals every semester I can honestly say that playing these sports is something I look forward to every week and signing up was one of the best decisions I made in University. The activity itself was fun, but it was also a way to meet other students and form life time friendships.
At the University of Ottawa, or any University for that matter, there are tons of activities and clubs geared to so many interests, be it related to your program, volunteer related clubs, dancing, health, and so much more there really is something for everyone. Even though I chose Intramural's for myself I do regret not getting involved even more, and I encourage anyone reading this to find something they like and give it a try to make the most out of your University experience.
Some of the best times you will have at University will be attending different events which may or may not be run by the university. Myself having attended the University of Ottawa the big University related events were the Panda Game and Capital Hoops, both of them are sports games against our rival school Carleton University in football and basketball. I always had a blast watching these games (and actually watched us win both this year!). Furthermore there are tons of other University events that might be much smaller such as networking events, public speakers, bake sales, that might not be as large scale as a huge sports game but are definitely worth attending for personal fun or career development.
Exploring the city’s offerings is a key piece to enjoying your University experience. The majority of students are young and usually free of familial and large scale financial responsibilities and won’t get the opportunity to experience University at this age again, so make the most of it. Check out what is happening in the city, try different foods, attend different parties, and hang out with your friends. This is not to say that the night before a midterm you should be on a night out in the city, but you should make time for yourself to go out and have fun which I believe University is largely about as well.
Balancing work with life in University is probably the most important way to enjoy your University Experience. There is so much that could be said about balancing work life and personal obligations, but these were the two main points I noticed for myself and others in my University career on trying to achieve a work life balance.
Prioritize: This very broad point is also very important point in how to achieve a work life balance. It’s so important that with all the stresses of school you find time to do things you enjoy in life. For myself these would be hobbies, hanging out with friends, playing sports and much more. For many people though finding time to focus on school instead of life obligations is what is most needed for them. Finding that balance can be trial and error but figuring out what works best for you as early as possible will help you immensely.
Make time for yourself: In the idea of work life balance I find that sometimes “yourself” is the unspoken but third and most important part of that concept. Making time for yourself is crucial to not burning out and not feeling overwhelmed with school and life obligations. There is no formula on how much time solely to give to yourself because everyone is different, but giving yourself adequate time just for you and no other obligations is crucial to both your mental and physical health.
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