Emilia, BA(Hons) Dance, Class of 2021
As a graduate there are things that I learned during my time as a student and also many things I have discovered as a recent graduate that I wish I’d known before.
Student Bank Account Separation
Sounds silly but keeping your student and current accounts separate is a game changer. Knowing that one account, your student one, is purely dedicated for rent, food, laundry, and any other student costs means it is easier to keep track of money and budget. Lots of banks encourage you to switch a current account into a student account but you can open a parallel student account. You can keep your current account for things like birthday money, and ‘fun’ money.
App – Money Dash (free download)
Staying on the topic of money, the app Money Dash is excellent for seeing all your expenses in one place. You can link multiple accounts from various banks and create direct debit payments from there. It also breaks your spending into general categories, such as bills, food and travel making it easier to see where you are losing money and where you could make changes to your budget to make savings.
Now for a couple of suggestions on motivation and staying focussed
App – Flora (free download) Flora - Green Focus (appfinca.com)
Flora is a free productivity app, where you grow trees for focussing during your designated amount of time and if you leave the app, your tree will die. In order to keep the tree alive you can’t visit any other apps on your phone. Somehow killing an imaginary tree makes you feel a little guilty and makes you focus on your tasks. It is very rewarding to see your forest grow.
Top Tip– start your music before the timer as even setting up Spotify will kill your tree or use a different device to play music.
Using social events and hobbies as deadlines
It always seems when you have studying to do, there is something far more exciting happening. However, using these as deadlines can be helpful. For example, say to yourself “if I complete x amount of work, I can attend a movie night”. Obviously balance between work and social is important, but I always found depriving myself of social events around deadlines wasn’t helpful as instead of working I would be sat feeling sorry for myself that I wasn’t at the event I had cancelled. Even just a paragraph before an event a way to get yourself started and find a balance and schedule that works for you.
App – Headspace Sleep (free download)
Getting enough sleep, is essential to your overall well-being and productivity when studying, and a good way to fall asleep is listening to Headspace Sleep Casts. They are excellent for calming and emptying the mind before you fall asleep and vary in length depending on your sleep pattern. You are also able to adjust voice and ambience levels to your preferences and can completely mute either. Are available on free version. Equally there are often student deals to get premium Headspace linked with your Spotify subscription.
Hopefully, you will be able to take one or more of these tips and implement them into your routine, to make life that little bit easier.