Learning to manage your workload is a vital skill at university. You will have to complete weekly reading, write assignments and study for exams all while being sociable and settling into a new environment. It’s also good to work out what works best for you in first year when a lot of universities don’t take your grades into account towards your final grade (remember you still have to pass). This isn’t me saying you don’t have to worry but it means you can afford to make mistakes as you are learning what works best for you. Having an established plan will also help as the workload will begin to increase as you go through the years at uni.
Prioritise: It can be easy to choose to do the task you like best first, but this isn’t always the best idea. Focusing on an assignment that isn’t due for 5 weeks when you have an exam in two days. Of course, it’s always a good idea to get ahead on assignments and not leave them to the last minute but this shouldn’t be at the expense of other things you have due in. Keeping in mind what deadlines you have come up will help you work out what needs to be done first and what should be your priority at a given time. Also, keep in mind somethings will take longer than others and so you may have to begin these things a bit earlier.
Plan your time: I personally use a planner to keep myself on top of what work needs to be done. I ensure that I have all my deadlines written down, so I don’t get any surprises from forgetting something is due. I then plan what I’m going to work on each day in order to keep on top of everything. It is important to work out how much time will go into things but also how much time you have on a particular day. If you’re in lectures every day you don’t want to be planning to do 8 hours of work on that day as it’s just not going to be possible to fit all that in. Also, realising that you need to plan a lot more time for a 5,000-word assignment than a 2,500-word assignment is important.
Don’t overexert yourself: Remember you’re going to have off days where you may not feel like working and so I make sure to plan a rest day each week. Though in my plan this will be a specific day, if I need to I’ll move the rest day, I may feel I really need it on a specific day. Also, making sure you leave time for breaks and out of university activities is essential in order to not wear yourself out and to keep your mental health in check.
It’s not all about work: As much as you are going to university to get your degree, you will have so many opportunities you don’t want to miss out on. Making time for extra-curricular activities and socialising is very important to make the most of your time at uni. Make sure you find a balance that works for you, you don’t want work to become like a chore; it should be something you enjoy.