Oxford is a fantastic place to get active and involved in sports and physical activities. Whether you’re representing the University as a full blue, or are simply trying to hit some personal fitness goals at the gym, it’s important to think about the impact that your activities are likely to have on your academic performance.
Approached with the right attitude, sport can have a hugely beneficial impact on your university experience, leaving you feeling happier and healthier, but without having a detrimental impact on your studies.
1. It’s all about balance
Taking part in sport can be one of the best things about your time at Oxford, giving you the chance to get active, make new friends, and take on responsibilities that will help to develop your personal skills, and make you even more appealing to employers.
As with anything, balance is important, and you need to be sure that the activities you take part in are not going to affect your studies in a negative way. If you’ve committed to a sports team, it’s crucial to balance your extra-curricular activities carefully so that your academic pursuits do not suffer.
2. Be prepared to make sacrifices
Sports participation is encouraged by the university, and should be a valuable part of your experience at Oxford. But remember, you won’t be able to do everything you may want to, however, so being able to prioritise appropriately is a great skill to have.
If you’re training five days a week, and waking up early every day, for example, then you may have to sacrifice some of your social activities to perform well in your studies.
The responsibility is on you to manage your time and to avoid taking on too much. But you should make an effort to work with your tutor or supervisor. They may be willing to be flexible, and help you manage your time appropriately.
3. Be organised
Despite what you may think at times, there are enough hours in the day. By organising your time effectively, you can use your hours wisely – ensuring that you’re performing as effectively as possible in both the sports you take part in, and in your studies.
Keeping a diary to plan out your time effectively will ensure that you’re making the most of your day. You should also try to use the hours when you are studying to their full effect by committing to focus 100%, and avoiding distractions.
4. Get enough sleep
It’s hard to over-emphasise the importance of getting enough sleep. This will help to ensure that you are feeling awake and attentive in tutorials, and are switched on and engaged.
One of the many benefits of taking part in sports is that physical activity can leave you feeling fresh and energised, which in turn can help you to cut down on the amount of time you spend procrastinating. Again, this will help you to make the most of the time you have dedicate to studies, and to perform at your best. It will also help with your sports recovery, so you can also perform at a higher level on the field!
If your sport involves early training sessions, you could experiment with strategic naps to catch up on missed sleep. Taking an early night, and leaving socialising to the weekends, can also help you to get the right amount of sleep.
5. Enjoy the challenge!
There’s no doubt that managing a schedule that involves a lot of sport and academic commitments can be a challenge, but the rewards of doing so mean it’s one that is rewarding and worthwhile to overcome. Regular physical activity allows you to enjoy the benefits of having something to take your mind off of your studies, while also providing physical and mental health advantages.
By taking part in physical activities in a well balanced and organised way, you can make your time at university extra enjoyable – reaping the benefits of taking part in sports, and enjoying Oxford life to the full.