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How to balance university, work and doing what you love


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Balancing work and your hobbies can be difficult, but Kirsten Noble shows us all how it's done.

Second-year Accounting and Finance student at the University of Northampton, Kirsten Noble, has recently won the Women’s Premier League Play-offs with her team the Milton Keynes Falcons. Not only did her team win a stunning 5-1 victory against their rivals, the Chelmsford Cobras, but Noble managed to score a goal during the game and was named Player of the Match.

Despite the intensity of the work involved in her course, Noble admirably maintains both her high level of sporting talent and studying – she has even been selected to trial for the Great Britain University Team. She advocates that "If you are dedicated to your sport, you will find a way to make time for it", which is a phrase applicable to any hobby or passion, for example playing in a band or travelling.

Noble claims her ability to juggle her heavy workload and demanding sports commitments is due to the fact that training is on a Friday evening and games are at the weekend. According to Noble, she is able to focus on studying during the week, which allows her to dedicate herself to sport at the weekend.

Not only a beloved hobby, Noble also sees Ice Hockey as a way of keeping fit and being social amidst the academic pressures of University life.

While Noble makes it look easy, balancing hobbies and work commitments is far from it. We can all struggle to find enough time to do all the things we want to, and too often we must sacrifice a social life for our studies, or vice versa. 

That's why we've come up with a list of tips to help you balance your work and hobbies:

1. Prioritise

First and foremost, it is very important to plan out your time and prioritise tasks. If there is an influx of deadlines, this may mean missing one or two training sessions. Noble shows us the perfect example of this by completing her work during the week so that the two don’t conflict on weekends. Giving yourself deadlines will undoubtedly also help to reduce work procrastination, which we all struggle with!

2. Don't take on too much

Although extra-curricular activities are valuable, students need to be wary of how much they take on outside of course related work. After all, obtaining a degree is what you go to university for, and spreading yourself too thin with a lot of commitments can be counter-productive, leading to stress and subsequently a worse overall performance. As such, while we recommend putting yourself out there and getting involved, we also recommend caution. Only take on a few commitments, perhaps doing so over time so you know how it will affect your student life.

3. Do what you love

Lastly, choose a hobby because you love it! It will be a much better outlet than putting time into something that you don’t really enjoy.

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