Colorful roof of the Coventry city arcade

It’s a juggling act, top 5 tips to managing study and work

Let’s be honest – University life can be stressful, especially if you are an international student trying to balance out assignments, social life, and a part-time job. After three years of being in this position, I think I have finally mastered the art of managing the university workload with everything else.

Plan Plan Plan!

This might sound basic, but there is nothing better than planning your time ahead and setting up mini goals that will help you stay on top of the university work. Write down on a calendar (or even Google Calendar if you are a techy person) all your deadlines and set time aside to work on the assignments and exams. The sooner you start the better, so you feel less pressured and stressed about the deadline coming up!

photo of a digital-planner

Have a rest day!

Have a day in the week where you allow yourself to take some time off and just relax. Sometimes as your schedule gets busier you might end up in a workaholic spiral, where you just work, and you don’t take any time for yourself to recharge your batteries. But remember, sometimes it is better to take a step back and then start things with a fresh mind. So once a week, schedule something fun that you would like to do, whether is a trip or a coffee date with a friend, or just lying in bed all day so that you can have a moment for yourself without thinking about all the things coming up. For example, I love spending my Sundays watching films on a mini projector and snacking on popcorns all afternoon!

student bedroom with film projected on a wall

Learn to say no!

Sometimes part time jobs can be demanding and (especially if you are working in hospitality) your managers might ask you to cover shifts on a regular basis.

You need to learn to say no, if it is a particularly busy time for you or you are tired, remember that university is your priority, so you need to set clear boundaries and your managers have to understand that. Try not to have too much on your plate all the time, otherwise you will burn out!

Surround yourself with nice friends!

Again, this might sound basic but the type of people you have around actually makes a difference. Find people who help you recharge your batteries (instead of draining them!) and that you can have fun with at the same time! Most of my closest friends that I made here were also international students that were working and studying.

Make the most of your time at uni!

At the end of the day, the years that we are spending at university will forever be remembered as a nice memory when we will become adults, so make sure to enjoy yourself even if you are working a job that you don’t like or feel under pressure. Romanticising small things can be a way of being happy about small victories or accomplishments, but even making your co-worker smile can have a positive impact on you as a person.

So even though working and studying can be hard, it can also be rewarding for your personal growth (and let’s be honest, it is nice to see a bit more of money in the bank account). I have so many memories that I created while I was working in a restaurant that I could write a book on it, but it has also been challenging at times – especially towards the end of the semester when all the deadlines were coming up.

My final advice, therefore, is to always believe in yourself, if you think you can make it you will find a way!


Sonia Caldironi posing infront of a fireplace

Student, Marketing BA Hons at Coventry University

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