I think it is safe to say that at NCH you certainly do have to become good at planning out your weeks. I can at times feel very overwhelmed when looking at how much you have to do and fit into your week. But, I have learnt – the hard way – that panicking about it, doesn’t solve anything. All that you need to do is become better at planning your weeks ahead of time, and then you will miraculously find that you do have time to fit everything in!
Let’s say for example, that you have a week coming up with lectures, two seminars, a tutorial and on top of all of this you have social commitments that you can’t get out of. Now, my first reaction used to be: “oh my god, what am I going to do?! It’s impossible for me to get all of this done, and still have a social life.” Then, I would get into a depressive downward spiral, thinking there is no way I can do any of this.
However, now I have learnt how to deal with this problem and when I look at my upcoming weeks on a Sunday night, I am no longer filled with fear. It is all about planning. ‘Planning, planning, planning.’ I will look at my timetable for each month, and then plan in my diary when I am going to do all of the preparation that I need to do. I personally always try to keep my weekends free, so I will plan to do my uni work during the week, so I can have my weekends to do stuff with my friends.
It really is important that you remember to keep a balance between working hard, but also playing hard – I know that sounds like an awful cliché, but it is actually true. You cannot have the energy to work hard at uni if you don’t allow yourself to have a break and let your hair down. This is something that I have had to force myself to do, but I really have seen the benefits of it – both with my mental health and my grades.
I know that some of you applying to NCH will be worried about how much work you will have to do if you come to the college, and I hope that this blog post will have eased that worry at least a little for you.