Managing Sport & University Life – Lara Brittain

University life is all about balancing the workload, social life and sports which in my case is rowing. Training 10 times a week takes that to the extreme so still having a social life means having great organisation with both food planning and university assignments.

This blog is going to take a look at some of my top tips on how to manage your time well at university, to get the best possible experience.

  1. Waking up at a reasonable time

Lie ins are great but not when you have a bust schedule. Before corona I was awake at 5.45am for 3 days a week and 7am most other days. This can help get a session in before university work and lectures which of course is not always necessary for everyone.

Even during corona, I try to get up between 7-9am to keep some structure about my day and occasionally go on a run before starting work at 9-10am. Of course when nights out were still in existence this can be hard so of course sometimes having a lie in is needed to recover, this is important as balance is key.

Usually Saturday night/ Sunday morning is my social time so once a week (sometimes two) I had time to properly have fun and recover afterwards.

  1. Being flexible

Knowing when your deadlines are is also key. Cutting training back for three days won’t affect much in the long run so prioritising work is important, however annoying it may be. In winter this may be harder as it gets dark sooner, but knowing when you work and train best can help you be more productive.

  1. Meal planning

Doing a food shop a week with a full list for the week can really help cut out the co-op trips wasting time and money. I sometimes make enough for two meals or for another lunch to stop myself cooking twice. Also pairing up with a housemate can also help as cooking is often quicker, and as most things come in a two pack can save money. Most importantly having a weekly plan on what you’re cooking can save a lot of time when it comes to mealtime trying to think of what to cook.

  1. Organisation is key

Having a weekly list is one of the best things I have started doing this year. With online lectures it can be easy to lose track of how much you need to do and when assignments are due. I write out my work tasks and goals training wise and tick it off as I go through the week, which also helps me see how much I’ve achieved each week and makes things look more manageable.

These are some of the most common tips but hopefully something to think about and at least one of the tips can help. It is also important to remember that it is totally okay to have a bad day or even a bad week, but not to give up. One week won’t change your life but having a routine for a few months could really make a difference.

During lockdown it is important to stay active and try to get out the house at least once a week even when it is cold. Staying positive and having a goal can really help with your Mental Health and in staying ambitious during tougher times.

Stay smiling!


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