Photo of Lynette, the author of the article, sitting at a bench on campus and smiling at the camera

How to romanticise your uni life

Now that we are back from Easter holiday break, are you ready for the whirlwind of modules to catch up on and assignment deadlines coming your way? We’re usually super spirited and motivated to stick to academic goals at the start of the semester. But we can gradually grow tired with uni work, balancing personal work and academic deadlines – either starting to procrastinate or allowing the stress to consume us. While effective study strategies can be helpful in preventing burnout, another way is a mindset shift to romanticising your life as a university student. This is just like transforming yourself into a main character of a movie, turning every day-to-day aspect of your life into something of value to you in an aesthetic and cinematic manner.  Here are some tips to help you get started!  

Emulate your favourite academically-inclined Youtuber, book or TV character

Do you have a fictional character or real person who you look up to as a source of academic inspiration, one whose whole personality revolves around their academic prowess? If not, go find one! My personal favourite is Ali Abdaal because I like to learn about effective studying. I also enjoy watching and studying with those ‘Study with Me’ YouTube videos because their passion for learning helps me to study. Their late nights spent in their study room, taking notes or reflecting on their study process to achieve better results are all something I admire. So, to romanticise your academic life, you can try putting yourself in their shoes and act like them!  

Photo of Lynette studying on campus, outside the Auchmuty library

Visualise your romanticised university life

Well, sometimes it is hard to just start and commit to something that we are not used to. Planning and setting up a vision board are great ways to encapsulate all aspects of your life, including your preferred academic aesthetic. I’m a visual learner and quotes enthusiast, so I like to create a wallpaper with images or quotes that align with my life goals. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by uni and simply want to find an escape through the rabbit hole of social media, my phone wallpaper will be the first thing I see to remotivate me.  

Screenshot of Lynette's mobile phone wallpaper, with a motivational quote saying 'discipline is the strongest form of self-love'

Set up a nice environment to study in

Part of a romanticised academic life is to make study sessions something you look forward to. Do you ever have someone, something or a favourite spot that motivates and keeps you focused during study sessions? If not, try to find one!  

Whenever I feel pressured to do work but lack the motivation to start, I first make myself a cup of coffee, something that indicates ‘time to start working’. Then, I text a friend, someone who would hold me accountable to my to-do lists, either to study together in the library or just to tell them what my plans are for the day. The set up of my study session is another key aspect of my romanticised university life. I enjoy working from home because I feel most comfortable and can easily access food to boost my brain. But there are times when I need to step out of the house to get inspired and boost my productivity levels. I personally think the university libraries, Auchmuty Library or NUspace Library, are the best places to review your lecture notes and complete your readings. The ambiance of the library, including the clicking of keyboards and seeing other students around me, adds charm to the act of studying.  

Lynette's work-from-home set up, with her kitten near her laptop

Have a happy ending!

Do you notice that in every TV show or book, the main character has some reflection and self-realisation that makes them have a ‘happily ever after’? I would say this is the most important factor in making the romance of our university life sustainable. Celebrate small wins, whether it’s a good grade on a quiz, completing a project or successfully giving a presentation. Acknowledging your hard work and achievements can help you stay motivated and engaged in your studies.  

For me, taking time for self-care including self-reflection journaling and doing things that makes me happy is how I enjoy my happy ending! This could be taking photos with the presentation that I’ve worked hard on, writing in my journal about the day or posting special moments of my university life. These are ways to document those experiences, allowing me to walk down memory lane and appreciate my life more!  

Aesthetic photograph of Lynette's journals and pens set up on the grass in the sunshine

Hopefully, with these tips, romanticising your uni life will get you feeling excited to tackle the semester ahead! 

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