Maintaining small life things throughout Uni can be tough; priorities shift and sometimes small important things become backed up until your personal admin snowballs.
Have you updated your address since you moved? Did that tax return form ever get submitted? Was that assignment due tonight or next week? This is the crux of what we call ‘life admin’.
I too struggled for a long time with figuring out how to coordinate life. But flash forward and I am now the organised agony-aunt here to answer your burning questions and tell you 21 things you can do now to improve your life admin.
What are 3 easy things I can do right now to keep up?
There are a range of practical changes you can make to keep on top of things. Some easy and impactful things you can do right now include:
- Adding and syncing all your email and calendar accounts to your phone (and to each other).
- Downloading uni apps (like Canvas and myUni) and other non-uni related apps that might help like Medicare, Service NSW and the ATO app.
- Making a designated to-do list, whether in a notebook, phone or computer.
To get ahead on your larger life admin, there are so many steps to help get started:
What about life admin for uni?
- Cleaning out your study space – Marie-Kondo those old post-it notes and desk distractions and organise your notes into folders (and check out our article on ‘5 tips for sprucing up your study space’).
- Updating your details on MyHub with things like change of addresses, course majors and emergency contacts.
- Checking your Program Plan to see when you are on track to graduate and what subjects are left to go, you can also check for any holiday electives to lighten your semester workload.
- Keeping track of key dates (like Census Date) and adding the important ones to your calendar.
- Staying on top of assignment due dates – assessment tables are a great way to do this (see mine below).
Don’t forget about my career!
- Setting aside time every few months to routinely update your resume and LinkedIn profile while your recent projects, experience and awards are still front of mind.
- Booking an appointment at the Careers Service to talk about what you need to achieve towards your career goals.
- Following the Jobs on Campus Facebook group to keep up with campus jobs, work integrated learning opportunities and other internships or programs.
What about my *money, money, money*?
- Creating a budget! Think about your general spending and needs like rent, bills, food, eating out as well as a savings goal and an emergency fund. You can use a spreadsheet, table or even different accounts to keep track of the amounts.
- Looking at where you can reduce your spending. A great place to start is by looking at where the money is going in your bank account. For some great tips see ‘Uni on a budget: Where you can cut costs’.
- Seeing if you are eligible for any discounts or assistance online, such as through the NSW Government Savings Finder. The University of Newcastle also offers a range of financial support to help cover the cost of study.
- Keeping track of what bills are coming and when they are due and cancelling those unnecessary subscriptions.
- Checking your super balance to see what fees and insurances you are paying and the investment choices that you are making.
- Logging into your MyGov account to check in on your HECS and HELP balance.
- Preparing for tax time by keeping track of the due date for your taxes, researching what you can claim and preparing your receipts and records.
Are there things I can do for my health-admin?
- Finding a General Practitioner – having a GP and practice to go to will make things easier when you are sick or run down. Consider your needs like bulk billing status, location and a practitioner expertise and skills that best suits you (like mental health, young people’s health and spoken languages).
- Making sure your Health Care Card from Medicare is active and in date if you are eligible as this reduces the cost of some medications and allows you to bulk bill appointments.
- Attending to those often forgotten health checks! Yes, the ones like STI checks, Cervical Screenings, mental health and body checks (see ‘5 health checks you need to stop putting off’).
- Seeing what other services are available to you. Have you considered an eye test or a dental appointment? If you have private insurance, it’s important to see what you can claim on your cover. If you don’t have insurance, there are a range of things you can bulk bill (such as some eye tests).
We all feel the hustle and bustle of uni study. When you begin to add in part time work, share-house living and competing deadlines things can begin to pile up. While it all may seem like a lot at first, just set some time aside to tick these items off and it will help you get ahead.