A series of polls run by the online revision and learning website GetRevising has shown how students across the UK are struggling to find a study-life balance. The free site polled 3000 students aged from 14-21 years, asking a variety of questions about their study and social habits.
Work and fun
The over-riding message that came back from the polls revealed how young people are finding it increasingly tricky to strike a balance between work and fun. Students explained that the pressures of meeting deadlines for the submission of coursework, in addition to the stress of preparing for exams, makes it hard to find downtime for their hobbies.
The first poll looked at the impact that study workload has on a student’s desire or ability to participate in extra-curricular activities. A second examined the different coping mechanisms employed by students who are stressed when studying. And in a final poll the students were requested to reveal whether the demands of studying actively prevented them from exercising or trying out new sports.
Given up hobbies
The results revealed that some 65% or more of students have given up a hobby or sport to enable them to devote the time they need to coursework and study commitments. Some 72% of respondents said they felt under pressure from both teachers and parents to forego extra-curricular activities in order to prioritise their studies.
A gender divide became apparent from the results, with 69% of girls reporting that academic pressures impacted on the time they felt they had to stay active, or engage in a new sport. This was in contrast to just 41% of boys.
A further difference between boys and girls was apparent in their preparedness or perceived need to turn to medication in order to help cope with study stress – around 20% of girls admitted to using some form of supplement, including caffeine tablets and herbal remedies, to help them through, compared with just 15% of boys.
GetRevising founder Peter Langley stressed the importance for students of having a well-rounded education that is bolstered to include hobbies and skills such as art, music and sport. Speaking to the Independent newspaper He added: “Not only will these skills be a huge boost for their CV and future employability, but learning to balance their workload is a life skill which will put them in good stead for the rest of their lives.”