This might be the last thing you want to do during a busy phase! However, making a habit of planning the occasional day off in advance creates a low-pressure deadline to work towards. It encourages you to get things done without the stress of an actual due date. Getting out of the library and going somewhere different after a long week of work is often the best thing you can do – you’ll come back with more energy and feeling much more prepared for work.
2. Make it a reward
If you’re too short on time that abandoning work for even a day seems impossible, give yourself something to look forward to. Whether it’s a day trip to London or a summer holiday after exams, book some tickets in advance. Once work is done and there are fewer finals on the horizon, you’ll already have a trip organised, and can make the most of your freedom after passing the deadlines.
Taking friends always leads to experiences you’d never have going solo. If your trip ideas keep getting put off, make plans with people to see somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit. You’ll be held accountable by others to make sure you go. It also takes off the planning pressure if everyone helps to organise a big holiday.
4. Explore locally
Southampton is full of things to do – be a tourist in your own city and explore an area you’ve never seen before. If you want to travel a little further, cities like Bath and London are less than two hours away by train. Instead of spending half the weekend getting there and back, find places to see a little closer to home. Less travel time also means more money to spend once you arrive.
If you’re anything like me, you have a list of hundreds of places you want to see one day. However, making a smaller list of trips you might like to take while at university makes travelling now feel a lot more achievable. Instead of being faced by a list of expensive round-the-world tickets and year-long expeditions, come up with shorter or more budget-friendly ideas to get exploring between the deadlines.
If you’re dreaming of a longer trip, or often work between semesters, consider applying for a temporary work visa. You’ll get to experience life in a foreign country for a few months and leave a smaller impact on your bank balance once you’re back at university. Unlike studying abroad, you won’t have to find your feet in a new place at the same time as working towards exams, and you’ll be less rushed to see the places you want to see.