It can be tough to keep yourself going in all aspects of life when studying full-time in college… In her third blog post, Brazilian Student Ambassador Camila Pulz de Faria writes about how she managed to balance her time on campus and daily tasks, such as cooking, exercises, having time for leisure activities while also working part-time. 

Hey folks! What’s the story?

In the early years of college life, most of us had a feeling of excitement about learning new content, meeting teachers and fellow students. I don’t know about you, but in my case, I felt eager to learn more and more. However, being a student also brings challenges to our routines. After a couple of weeks, I realised that the biggest challenge was to find time to do everything! Time management! Yes, the same skill that you will come across in almost every job description.  

Time to study, time to work on assessments, cook, have fun and much more. It is always about time and, without knowing how to distribute it efficiently, you could make your life a lot harder. Not only because of academic activities, which demand time and energy, but also the everyday tasks of “adult life”, such as cooking, going for groceries, working, do housework, etc. And, last but not least, you need to make time for having some fun (we all love that). From my personal experience, time management is one of the most important skills to develop as an international student. Allow me to explain myself…

Taking a break! (photo: Camila)

Before coming to Ireland, I got a degree in Psychology. I was a college student back home while living with my parents. I had many assessments and exams to do (very similar to my days now, by the way), but while staying with my mum and dad, life was easier. I could skip cooking, groceries, laundry and many other obligations. But now, I have to do everything. Welcome to the adult world! It is a world where we cook every day, wash clothes, go to work, exercise, pay bills and rent, etc, plus study hard for college.    

I struggled more in the beginning until I found a well-balanced routine and organised my weekly schedule. First, I focused on finding a new part-time job that would offer me flexible hours to help me balance my weekly work/college schedule in a better way. 

Then, I had more time to also start focussing on my diet. I organised my cooking time by preparing my food once a week, splitting the food into containers and keeping them in the freezer (which was very handy, especially when I had final exams). This way, I could keep a balanced diet and eat healthy food without spending much time daily on its preparation. Also, I reduced my consumption of frozen pizzas, pasta, chocolate and takeaways to once or twice a month.  

Meal prep (photo: Camila)

I also included more exercise in my routine in order to keep my body active. I decided to walk more instead of using public transportation. Walking to college, walking to the grocery store etc. When the weather was nice, I would go hiking with my friends somewhere close to Dublin or go for long walks in the park with my partner. Ireland has great sceneries and landscapes, so if you are into outdoors activities, Ireland is the place for you. 

Walking on sunshine! (photo: Camila)

Lastly, leisure time. I have to confess that many times I had to reduce my leisure time due to the number of assessments I was working on. However, once the time allowed us, my friends and I would always plan something. We would go bowling, go to the pubs/restaurants or even stay inside playing board games and dining. I also had an unlimited card to the cinema, so I would go every week with some friends or on my own after my classes. Ahh… how I miss those things now during this pandemic time… 

Game night… (photo: Camila)

So, that’s it, guys! I hope my experience somehow gives you some insights into how to manage your life while pursuing a degree. For sure, choosing Ireland was one of the best decisions that I ever made. I have been improving myself personally and professionally every day. I even met my fiancé on this little island. So, yes, if you decide to do it as well, I guarantee many unforgettable moments are waiting for you.  

Camila is currently in her 4th year of Science in Computing and Information Technology at CCT College Dublin.