Life On Campus A Day In The Life Of A Varsity Student

What’s a typical day in the life of a varsity student? Read on for a glimpse into a day on campus, from making it to early morning lectures and coping with academic challenges to expanding your social circle.

Morning rituals

Your university experience will probably begin with the penetrating sound of your alarm clock. Whether it’s the crack of dawn or a leisurely later morning start is up to you and your timetable. While some students rise with the sun for early morning lectures, others have courses that allow for a more relaxed morning routine. Whatever your academic course prescribes, remember that punctuality is key.

Before you head off, make sure you eat the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Whether it's a quick energy bar or a cooked brekkie of eggs and toast, fueling your brain is crucial. And yes, coffee is a student's best friend.

Academic schedule

The heart of student life is classes and lays the foundation of the university “day in the life” experience. These comprise a mix of lectures, tutorials and assessments, depending on your course. Unlike school, your schedule will be exciting and diverse – some days will be a breeze while others might feel like an uphill battle. Whatever comes your way, embrace it and see it as part of the life of a student.

One of the biggest challenges is selecting your subjects. It’s best to go for a balance of challenging courses mixed in with those you're passionate about. And remember, academic responsibilities go beyond the lecture room. Group projects, assignments and exams will keep you on your toes, so stay organised and manage your time wisely.

Campus life

The campus experience usually includes an array of activities. You’ll soon discover that your campus is not just a place for lectures; it also opens up a world of opportunities for both personal and professional development. Whether it's joining a debate club, a sports team, or community outreach programmmes, extracurricular activities are where you will make lifelong friendships. At all IIE Varsity College campuses, for example, you will find:

  • An Information Centre that has been set up to provide information services and conducive learning spaces for both students and staff.
  • Cutting-edge informational technology infrastructure which gives students access to virtual learning spaces as well as online databases that provide access to the resources of the broader IIE Information Centre and those of other higher education institutions across South Africa.
  • A vibrant world of clubs and societies which give students choices about how to balance work and play. For many students this is their first opportunity to experience life as an adult, and these social interactions provide the opportunity to learn a range of skills that are essential for life in the working world. From the outset at The IIE’s Varsity College, students are encouraged to “get social” with the year kicking off with Orientation Week.
  • Sports offerings that range from competitive team sports to more social activities. The Varsity College Sports offering includes national sports clubs, campus team sports clubs, sports life clubs, and student lifestyle clubs offering social activities like esports, chess, hiking, and walking, ensuring there's something for everyone.

Meals and nutrition

Believe it or not, you can eat healthily without burning a hole in your pocket. A day in the life of a university student wouldn’t be complete without convenient take-outs and late night fast food feasts. But to save money, stay healthy and have the best shot at reaching your academic goals, opting for more wholesome, fresh, and affordable options at campus canteens and also at local supermarkets is a good bet. Plan your meals and resist the pull of endless takeaways if you want to keep your body and mind in top shape. Your wallet, waistline and exam results will thank you.

Study habits and resources

Effective study methods and time management are your secret weapons and will be part of everyday college routine. Find your ideal study environment, break down tasks into manageable chunks, and use techniques like the Pomodoro method to maintain focus. Remember, quality over quantity.

Evening activities

As the sun sets, the day is far from over. Some evenings will be dedicated to hitting the books, while others are for unwinding. Strike a balance between study sessions and leisure time. You'll find that a well-rested mind is more productive.

Speaking of leisure time, social interactions are the heartbeat of university life. Whether it's grabbing a meal with friends, attending a campus event, playing sport, or simply chilling in the common area, these are the university student experiences you’ll cherish.

Personal time

In the whirlwind of lectures and assignments, don't underestimate the significance of self-care. It's the fuel that keeps your mental engine running smoothly. Take a breather, prioritise your well-being, and watch how it enhances your overall university experience.

Strategies for work-life balance

  • Prioritise tasks. Identify essential tasks and prioritise them based on deadlines and importance.
  • Set realistic goals. Don't overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations. Break down tasks into manageable chunks.
  • Time blocking. Allocate specific time blocks for studying, leisure and personal activities. Stick to your schedule.
  • Learn to say no. It's okay to turn down additional commitments if your plate is full. Be mindful of your limits.
  • Quality over quantity. Focus on the quality of your work rather than the quantity. Efficient studying is more productive.
  • Take breaks. Regular breaks during study sessions prevent burnout and maintain concentration.
  • Incorporate hobbies. Schedule time for personal hobbies. Whether it's painting, playing an instrument, or hiking, indulge in activities that bring you joy.
  • Socialise smartly. Balance social interactions with academics. Choose events wisely to avoid compromising study time.
  • Reflect and adjust. Every so often, take a look at how your schedule is working and, if necessary, make adjustments. Flexibility is key to maintaining balance and making the most of your campus experience.

About The IIE’s Varsity College

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) of which Varsity College is a brand, is South Africa’s largest registered and accredited private provider of higher education. At Varsity College we understand that no two students are the same or learn the same. That’s why we make sure a student’s education is shaped around them; how they like to learn, what they are passionate about, what makes them tick, and what makes them thrive. Our Education by Design approach allows students to grow into their best, and creates a space where they can live, learn and play – their way.