I know the score, you’re in university and you’re there to “study”. But we all know that particularly in first year, you don’t tend to study as much as you should. Whilst you’re in university, it can be a good idea to find something productive to fill your time other than studying. I have listed a few suggestions below:

– Get a part-time job or internship. Admittedly an internship can be more full-on compared to a part-time job because it involves more office/contact time with the business that you are interning at. A part-time job would be considered reasonably easy to a) apply and get and b) to work around your studies. Not only will it fill your time but you’ll be able to earn some money for books (alcohol). Some of my friends have said that a part-time job only worked for them during first year because the work completed in first year in university doesn’t count towards your degree, so they had the time to commit to a job. Whereas some of my friends believed that a job in second year worked better for them because they had more free time. I guess it’s down to the individual and the amount of time they have free. I preferred to devote my time to university and get a seasonal part-time job over Christmas. 

– Start a new hobby. Picking up a new sport or hobby is a productive way to spend your time. You will be channelling your energy into learning a new skill and university is the perfect opportunity to do this.

– Be spontaneous and brave, and start a business. I know quite a few people who have started and are maintaining a successful business. University is the ideal place to do this because you can get the support and possibly some funding that you may need to help you along the way. Not only will this look good on your CV but it will take up a lot of spare time in your week. It can be very time consuming, so you have got to be completely committed in order for it to work but the benefits and rewards of this are worthwhile. 

– Join a new society. Societies in universities often hold socials to help people make friends, socialise and basically get drunk. Join a society that you wouldn’t normally join because you might surprise yourself by enjoying meeting new people with different interests to you. If you don’t like the first social then you don’t have to go to another one. That is positive about university.

– Start a project. Projects such as creating a blog or a website, to completing a course like first aid can be a productive way to spend your time because you will gain something from it. It will also be something that you can add to your CV.

– Get fit. During university, you will mostly find that you do not exercise as much as you should because you are either studying, doing work or socialising with friends. Exercise is important and, as much effort as it is to get changed into your gym gear and make your way to the gym, it will benefit you.

– Learn a language. University is the place where it is suggested that you try something that you will never have the opportunity to try again. Learning a language is one of these things because when you graduate and are in a full-time job, you most likely won’t be able to dedicate enough time to learn a language. There are plenty of apps on the market that can help you achieve the goal of this at the comfort of your university room.

– Volunteer. I’m sure there are people out there who, like me, believe that volunteering can be a fulfilling experience, however, as a student you are short of money and do not wish to work for free for anyone. I get it. But, volunteering in a company for a short while will add another dimension to your CV, proving that you did actually make a difference whilst you were at university.

– Learn to cook. It’s no secret that many students make a range of weird concoctions throughout their whole time at university because either the student can’t be bothered to cook doesn’t know how to. Learning to cook will be one of the most valuable skills you learn, during your time at university. I’d definitely consider learning to cook a new dish so you don’t have that same pasta dish that you’ve been having for the past three weeks.

– Make the most of what the university has to offer. Some universities have schemes, opportunities to work, volunteer work or awards that can be completed. I would highly advise that you consider this option because a) this type of work looks very good on your CV because it proves that you are giving back to the university and b) it is the perfect chance to do some work with new friends in the university.