It’s the end of your first year of university, and you’ve been noticing the word workload popping up more and more often.
You might have taken a look at your friends’ schedules and wondered how in the world they have time to go out on the weekends—and then spend all day Sunday sleeping to catch up with their sleep debt from the previous week.
Here’s What you need to know about Workload in School.
Understand what’s required
In order to understand your workload, you need to know the difference between a credit and a unit.
A credit is worth 15 hours of work, while a unit is worth 10 hours of work.
In general, you’ll need at least 4-6 credits per semester, with each class running 12 weeks.
The length of the course determines how many units it will take up. If you’re taking an eight week course, for example, it will require 8 units.
Remember that some courses are only one or two credits – these are usually lectures or seminars.
Keep in mind that there are other commitments outside of classes as well.
You might have assignments due every couple days and quizzes to take on top of all this!
Create a schedule
In order to know how much work you’re taking on, you need to learn what your responsibilities are.
This is the first step in creating a schedule and knowing how much time each task will take.
In general, you can divide your workload into three categories: academics, job, and self-care.
It’s important that these three areas of responsibility don’t overlap with one another; this will make it easier for you to divide your time more effectively.
Academics usually consists of schoolwork, lectures, studying for exams or writing papers.
For example, as an computer science major I have lecture classes every day from 9am-12pm; this takes up my morning hours so I have to plan out my afternoon accordingly.
Lectures and attending academic events both count towards my academic obligations because they help me keep up with course material outside the classroom setting.
Know what you’re getting into before you take on any extra work. Make sure the workload is manageable and realistic, and don’t be afraid to speak up if it’s not.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work, or if your workload doesn’t align with your understanding of your responsibilities, reach out and speak up.
The best way to avoid stress is by being proactive and making informed decisions about your workload, so make sure you know what you’re signing up for.
Get enough sleep
It’s not just what you study that counts. Your sleep schedule can be the difference between a good grade and a bad grade, not to mention the effect it can have on your work performance.
Not getting enough sleep can lead to a decreased attention span, so try your best to get at least eight hours of sleep every night and take naps when needed.
To keep up with the demands of your schoolwork, you’ll need a lot of energy. Eating well will help you stay alert and focused on your studies.
– Exercise: Not only will this give you more energy for studying but it’ll help with stress as well.
– Get organized: To keep yourself from wasting time going through piles or files every day or forgetting where things are, make sure to organize everything by subject and file everything away in an orderly fashion.
It’s important not only to take breaks from your work and get some sleep, but also to stay active by going for a walk or engaging in light exercise.
Taking care of your body will help you maintain mental clarity and reduce stress, which can lead you to burn out.
Remember that it is OK to ask for help:
There are many places on campus that are available if you need assistance with time management, including the Academic Success Centre and Wellness Centre.
Both centres offer workshops, support groups, and one-on-one sessions with graduate students who have been through what you’re currently experiencing.
The Academic Success Centre offers individual consultations where graduate students receive help developing their study skills and getting used to how the university system works.
These consultations allow graduate students to better understand what they should be doing academically so that they can focus more of their energy into studying for exams instead of trying to figure out how things work on their own.
Find a study buddy
Having a study buddy is an effective way to manage your workload and stay on track with deadlines.
Plus, you’ll have someone who can help you out when you need it most!
If all else fails and exams start coming up and grades seem like they’re slipping because of too much stress or not enough sleep, talk to someone.
Your advisor will be able to guide you in getting back on track for the semester.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions that are important to you and let them know what’s been going on.
They are here for support, so don’t forget to take advantage of that resource.
If you’re feeling burnt out on work, reward yourself with a break.
A well-deserved break not only recharges your batteries and increases your productivity, but it also helps you recharge your creativity and come up with better ideas.
On days where workload is especially high, think of this as a reminder to take some time off when there’s an opportunity later on.
If exams are coming up soon, find a place where you can study without any distractions from friends or family.
If you’re getting into that hectic rush hour mentality, remember that nothing good ever comes from rushing.