It’s that time of year again – school/college/uni is starting and after a wonderful summer of reading and relaxing, you’re suddenly inundated with work and time is something you don’t have. So when do you read? Your monthly TBR of maybe 10 books turns into a wrap-up of 3 and all you can wonder is, where did all the time go?
While I am enjoying being back at uni and seeing my friends again as well as getting away from home for a bit, I’ll admit that the initial excitement has worn off as the routine of writing up lectures and going into uni every day has taken hold. It will be different for everyone; I have some friends that are only in uni for 2 days a week, whereas I’m in everyday 9-5 with odd breaks – it just depends on your degree. But there’s still a hell of a load of work you have to do, so how exactly can you fit in reading when you have to sleep, eat, cook, clean, go to uni, write up your own notes, exercise, socialise and all the ten thousand other things you have on your to-do list?
Everyone says the secret is balance, you need to prioritise the important things like uni and work, then plan around what time you have left for socialising and doing things you enjoy which, in every bookworm’s case, is reading.
So I’m planning on setting aside time everyday to read, and when is the best time for this? At the end of the day when you’ve been to uni and done all your work. This means that giving yourself an hour or two to read every night is a reward for completing all your work and jobs throughout the day, but it can also act as an incentive. You just ended on a cliffhanger last night? Get all your work done as soon as possible and you can find out what happens! It’s a great way of ensuring you do what you need to do and will help keep you motivated when that looming pile of lectures that still need to be written up are looking very unappealing.
I am going into my third year at uni now and all I can say is, keep up to date with your lectures – make sure you do the work FIRST and then you can carry on reading the rest of your book. But allow yourself days off from your approach of getting work done and then reading, by using the weekends or on other days off to read more or maybe finish those last 100 pages.
Balance. Hard to do, but so important. Don’t do too much of one thing and neglect the other – don’t spend all weekend socialising, letting that pile of work grow larger, but also don’t spend all day working and giving yourself nothing as a reward for getting it done. It’s taken me two years at uni to finally realise that I spend so much time wasted on my phone not achieving anything (bookstagram is a major distraction though) and I probably won’t learn my lesson this year either and get behind with work, but I am going to try and adopt this approach to ensure I cope with uni work and still manage to get uni work done as well.
Here’s a tip list I’ve come up with for reading at uni:
- do your work first, THEN read
- set aside a portion of the day for reading but be flexible if your workload suddenly increases (likewise, if your workload decreases then take the opportunity to read more!)
- don’t be too ambitious with your monthly TBR – you’ll just feel disheartened if you see all the books you didn’t have time to read
- spend any opportune moment reading whether it’s in between lectures or on the bus/train home, but at the same time don’t exclude yourself from conversations and spending time with your friends/colleagues
- see reading as a reward for getting your work done but equally, don’t rush through work in order to get reading
- don’t compare yourself to others (little life lesson there) – there’s always going to be someone who manages to do all their uni work and can still read 20 books a month, you are you and be happy with what you achieve because what may be small to them, may be big to you and vice versa
- enjoy reading!
Let me know how you manage your time with school/uni/work and reading and if you have any tips then let me know in the comments! Good luck to anyone returning or starting college/uni as well 🙂