How To Cope When Uni Feels Like A Chore

It should be enjoyable, not stressful.

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

Here’s the thing that no one tells you about uni: it’s nothing like the movies. It’s not all sun-drenched days hanging out with your friends on the lawn. It’s not hilarious mishaps and days worth of study condensed into a cute 30 second montage. It’s certainly not frat parties and college dorms.

Uni can be really difficult. And lonely. Making friends isn’t as easy as it seems, and the constant barrage of class work, assignments, group projects and exams often seems unfair. Not to mention keeping our finances in order through part-time or casual work. They say these are supposed to be the best days of our lives, but what if they’re nothing but stressful? What if uni feels like nothing more than a chore?

Here’s how to enjoy your time at uni without feeling like it’s hard work.

Cut Down On Work

One reason uni can feel like a huge hassle is that you have other, more pressing commitments, to attend to. And fair enough, not many of us have the luxury of coast through uni without a part-time job.

But are you working to support your study or are you studying as a side to your work? Taking on lots of responsibility in your part-time job leave uni as an afterthought and you’ll probably end up resenting any time you attend that’s not making you money.

When your part-time job is related to your field, it makes sense to make it your number one priority. But if you’re just working for some extra cash, ask yourself if you can slow it down a little and focus more on your study. Saving up for your next holiday is definitely important, but if you budget well enough, there’s no reason you can’t still put some cash away.

Give Yourself Time To Enjoy Uni Life

Do you rock up to campus five minutes before your class starts and leave immediately after it ends? If you’ve got a shift to get to, this is completely reasonable. But if you do have the rest of the day to chill on campus, why not do it?

Stick around after class and go to the library to catch up on some assignments and get organised. Hang out in the hub, drink coffee and do some readings. If you spend a little bit of extra time on campus, you might start to feel like an actual student rather than a ragdoll that’s been pulled in a million different directions.

Take time to stop, breathe and take advantage of the this time. It might also give you the opportunity to make friends on campus, and nothing helps uni become less intense than having a buddy to share it with.

Take Some Time Off

You know what we don’t speak about enough? Just how effing expensive a degree is. If you’re forking out at least four grand per semester to be a no-show half the time, there’s a problem. You want to look back on your time at uni with fondness.

If you really feel like your degree is nothing but a hindrance and you can’t take time off work to accommodate a less stressful lifestyle, see if you can take a semester off. Or even just drop down to two units. You know the story about the tortoise and the hare: taking more time and enjoying the experience is better than rushing through it.

Burnout is real, but it can be avoided.

(Lead image: Gilmore Girls/Warner Bros)