Setting boundaries to take charge of your journey

By Vanisha Sadh, 2nd year BSc Product Design student

Setting boundaries to protect your wellbeing may sound easy but it can actually seem impossible when you are surrounded by your best friends and have to make the choice to not take part in activities you dearly love.

This is something most students struggle with at university with so many things to engage with and feeling the pressure to do it all at the same time as looking after your mental health. Know that you are not alone, and there are tools and support available to you.

The key to this is being assertive and set clear goals of what you want to do with your time at university.

Prioritise yourself – it’s not selfish to make it all about you sometimes, spend time with yourself, understand yourself and prioritise self-care

Make goals – understand what you believe in and what you want for yourself. This will aid in making you aware of your priorities and understand what activities you want to spend more time engaging in to meet your goals. It’s all about knowing your personal values and what makes you happier.

Assert your needs – learn to say no. We often want to make everyone happy and participate in all the opportunities which come up but you can not do everything that comes up. Plan your downtime and time for tasks which are important for you. Being sure of your needs and letting people know of them is integral.

Ask for help – The university is there to support you and you should be using its resources, book library sessions for help with time management, let you academic staff know when something is hindering your ability to perform a task, Talk to your friends if their plans are distributing your goals.

Set limits – know the extremes and know when to stop. Having a lecture in the morning and going out drinking the night before is something we all likely engage in, even if it’s not the best idea. To make situations like this work, set a limit to how much time you want to spend outside and the amount you want to drink. Through this you won’t miss out on the night out, at the same time not compromising on your educational experience. Sometimes you have to cut off on having fun to be able to meet your goals.

No one can do it all, and having a fun experience without regretting it, is only possible when you make yourself certain of what is needed.  Sometimes it is okay to choose not to participate in activities if they intervene with you prioritising yourself.

For help, advice and resources whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.

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