Time – The Greatest Four Letter Word

Time is one of life’s greatest assets and one aspect of life that we cannot earn or gain back.

Being a university student, we have a lot of time to complete assignments, exams or assessments. What about the time we have in between? How do you like to spend your time in between lectures, studying and reading? There are countless options for what students do spend their time on; nights out, bar crawls etc.

On average for some courses, students are only expected to be at university for at least 8 hours per week, or if you are a medical student over 20 hours per week including study time.

Nonetheless, in between our schedules we are given little pockets of time that could either go unused or wasted? Whether you are a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th year student (and the list goes on) there are plenty of opportunities that as students you can use your time productively and efficiently.

By Keisha Coggins

After university, our lives as students will all differ but for the majority, finding a job is the main objective. However, during our time at university exploring who we are and building our character is essential in being our best during university.

Character within the workplace and life includes many things and these are just a few: integrity, being personable, how we communicate, listening and being trustworthy. These few characteristics will be attractive to employers when looking to employ the right person but also helping us be our best as a student. Listed below are a few things that have helped me to build character during my time at university.


Do Work Experience/Internships

The skills we build from just our university course alone are highly transferable: communicating, team-working and project management skills. However, teaming that with practical work experience will enable you to stand out all the more. Therefore, marketing yourself early, doing research and using the university’s careers service to find an internship for summer during your semester will give you the opportunity to gain skills in the area of work you would like to work in or explore different areas of interest. This will help build your character of taking initiative, as you put yourself forward as not all opportunities will just come to you.


Volunteering opens your eyes to the real challenges in life, but also gives you opportunities to communicate with people from different walks of life and gain nuggets of wisdom from individuals 10 years older than you or even 10 years younger than you.

Having a job: Helps you to grow in being trustworthy whether it be as sales assistant and you are responsible for closing the shop or being a barista in coffee shop and handling the organisation’s money.

Getting involved

There a many societies at university that you can get involved with throughout the semester to do something, fun impactful and new. Doing something you’re passionate about is a true reflection of who you are and could lead you to making sustainable and long lasting change in the university and society around you.

Learn New Skills

Whether it be a sport, language, an instrument or coaching these opportunities allow you to learn new things about yourself, overcome challenges and apply your strengths in different endeavours and see the areas of weakness that you will need to grow in.

Work Hard

Working hard is essential in being able to excel in your degree programme and be an expert in your field. You can do this by doing the further reading on your reading list, making the time to visit your lecturers and ask them advice or contributing to your seminar discussions. This will enable you to stand out and build soft and hard skills (Cheary, 2018) that are necessary for the ‘world of work’ and being a great student.

University is only for 3 years (for most people or 5 years) and within that time, you can use it wisely and explore the vast amount of opportunities that lay ahead of you during your semester that will help you to grow as an individual.

Share this post