April 6, 2017

Tackling University, a Job and Blogging

I properly started blogging weekly when I moved to China. Before that, it was once in a blue moon so I didn't really count it as 'blogging'. Once I had moved to China, I had university everyday for at least 4 hours, I started a teaching job which I did twice a week for 2 hours each time (plus an hour for travelling to the apartment) and I 'attempted' to blog weekly. As well as having all of these to do weekly, I also had my social life which, being in a new city and a massive city like Shanghai, was very hectic as there is so much to see and do.
There were weeks where I had to sacrifice one or two and it was usually blogging. Knowing I would have weeks where I wouldn't find time to blog I had to organise my week in advance. University work took up A LOT of time as I would be learning loads of new vocabulary, grammar, contexts everyday...I'm still struggling to understand how I managed it in the first term. It has got more hectic and manic as the months have gone by so how do I go around managing it all?



Being the reason why I am here is to study, I take university as my priority so this usually takes up most of my week. I mainly save weekends for my social life and to take a break away from the study scene. My university timetable has changed since the first term and now I am in everyday 8am-11:30am, Chinese take it very seriously. This is actually a perfect schedule to have because it leaves the whole of the afternoon free. However, truth be told, having to get up everyday at 7am is proving to be quite difficult. After university is finished, I go and grab lunch nearby. There is a street down the road called University Road which is crammed with many cafes and restaurants, perfect for students to study at. I will either go to a cafe and study for a few hours after class or find a quiet place in my lecture building. Making my way back home, I'll either stop at a street stall for dinner or go to a restaurant with friends. With this as my schedule, how do I fit in work and blogging?



Teaching twice a week was a perfect amount of time for me to stay focused at university but to also get a bit of income every week. The family lived a couple stations away on the metro so didn't take up too much time but I eventually quit this job and moved onto a different family which was a lot further away, by about 20 minutes. This doesn't sound a lot but together it's 40 minutes on a metro one way. The real reason I took it was because it paid well (£30 an hour!). However, I wasn't prepared for what was to come as the child knew very little English and didn't understand a word I was saying. How can parents expect their children to learn when they don't know anything the teacher is saying...it's all very confusing. I quit after the second lesson (I lasted very long didn't I) because the child cried non-stop for half an hour because she didn't want to learn English...I wasn't very surprised. For the past three weeks I have been job free but am hoping to start another next week for only 2 hours a week, much more manageable.



For the first term of university, blogging was a bit all over the place. I literally did it when I had time to. Eventually I got into the habit of going to Starbucks after work and writing posts for a few hours before I collapsed. The time difference, surprisingly, made it harder because I couldn't promote posts until the day after (this was before I discovered scheduling websites). Now, however, it is a lot easier because I have expanded my blog topics to Lifestyle, Travel and Photography, including a segment on my year abroad, so I have more to write about. Also, because of university here and back home becoming a little more hectic as this year comes to an end, the workload has increased so I haven't gone out as much as I have previously; this means I have time in the day to sit down and be productive with my blog. I have found time to improve my photography, improve and promote my social media accounts, formatted my blog differently, etc.


Having all these things to do does put on a lot of stress but I always say this; university is priority, work is optional and blogging is a hobby. Even though I am work free at the moment, I am hoping to stick to my current schedule of university work and study during the morning and afternoon, work in the evening and blogging at the weekends and whenever I can in the week.

It is not as hard as everyone thinks and you just have to go about it in a simple way. Don't make it manic for yourself. Loads of people are doing it, if they can, you can!


How do you go about maintaining certain aspects in your life? Do you find it challenging?

20 responses to “Tackling University, a Job and Blogging”

  1. Claire Walker says:

    Wow, you sound super busy yet seem to remain so calm about it! Can I have your super power please?!? I find that making schedules and lots of lists really help me to balance everything! Thanks for sharing this post with us 🙂 xxhttp://www.grabyourcamera.co.uk

    • Abigail West says:

      Haha, sometimes I can be quite the opposite and be a complete mess! I've got better at it though. You should see the amount of lists, pieces of paper and notebooks around my room which are just covered in notes! Abs x

  2. Grow Change Accept says:

    I love this so much, you juggle so much and it's true, it's not as hard if done the right way and you know how to do it! Love your control!Jessica | growchangeaccept.co.uk

    • Abigail West says:

      It's a little more relaxed now not having a job but I still question myself how I did it last semester. Yes I think if you plan the amount of hours you'll do everything and fit in time for your social life then it's quite simple to do. Abs x

  3. Abbie says:

    I totally get how hard it can be to maintain uni, a social life and blogging. I found blogging especially hard to maintain once I was back at uni but I've created a better schedule for it and I try not to put as much pressure on myself to blog every week. I commend you though because you sound so busy!Abbie • overpeachchic.com

    • Abigail West says:

      I especially think next year will be a struggle as final year is a tough one. I think I will have to adjust my blogging schedule and dial it down a little so I have more of my focus on my studies. Abs x

  4. Sarah A says:

    I don't think that I would be able to survive your busy schedule haha! You have so much going on! My A levels exams are in a month and I'm struggling a bit with school, studying and blogging. I just try to prioritise and make lists :)Sarah | What Sarah Writes

    • Abigail West says:

      I only just about survive it haha! Ah good luck with revision and your exams! Making lists is so helpful, I have so many lists and they are everywhere. Abs x

  5. Sophia Whitham says:

    I find focusing on university so hard when I enjoy the blogging community so much. But it's a means to an ends, my exams are in May and then I have the rest of my life ahead of me 🙂 xxSophia x http://sophiawhitham.co.uk

    • Abigail West says:

      At the moment I'm in the same place. I've been prioritising blogging over university which is sooo bad but its because I love the community so much. Big deadlines are coming up too so I'll be focusing on them mainly whilst trying to keep up with blogging haha. Abs x

  6. ThatGirlYT says:

    Hats off to you! I don't have nearly as much going on in my life as you, and I'm already struggling trying to juggle it all. I really like your philosophy of "university is priority, work is optional and blogging is a hobby" – I'm going to try to make that my new mantra!xoxoFreyathatgirlyt.wordpress.com

    • Abigail West says:

      I've started to struggle a little in the last few weeks but not having a job anymore has definitely took the pressure off a little. Abs x

  7. sophieannetaylor says:

    I COMPLETELY sympathise with this, I attend university full time, work 20 hours a week part time, volunteer and blog and boy people wonder why I rarely upload :') I have to admire the fact that you've managed to get on with it though and have adjusted your schedule accordingly. Us multitasking gals are good, wish we could blog full time though at times! I just have accepted I can only blog properly in the summer when I'm only working and when I eventually move to Japan where I will only work 30 hours a week with no studying (praise the lord!) good luck in future with the rest of your juggling :')sophieannetaylor.com

    • Abigail West says:

      Wow that sounds hectic! I could never work for more than 6 hours a week in a job, university is definitely priority and takes up so much of my time as I'm there for at least 20 hours a week. I've got into a habit of blogging 4 times a week but it's starting to hit me hard and I'll have to go back to three or two times a week. I've learnt to write a load of posts (providing I have ideas) in a week to then schedule for the next 2 or 3 weeks. Oh wow you're moving to Japan? Where abouts? I'm jealous, I loved Japan!! Thank you, you too! Abs x

  8. Abigail West says:

    There have been stages where I've had a breakdown and wanted to just give up on it all but I just kept going (somehow haha). It was horrible to hear and see it. Chinese parents can be very harsh with their children, this was a good example of that. I no longer have a job as workload with university has increased massively but I think I managed it all quite well, most of the time. Abs x

  9. Jade Stuart says:

    Great Post! I've managed to juggle university & a job for the past two years fine, but now I've started blogging I'm going to have work out my time! I'll just keep it simple like you said & hopefully it'll be OK x

    • Abigail West says:

      I go back now and think how I initially did it because there's no way I'd be able to do all that now. I struggle just to blog right now, how bad is that!! Abs x

  10. Beccah says:

    I really admire you managing to juggle all the commitments. I am doing ok with my blogging right now but I don't work. In September I'll be doing college full time and while I'll do my best, I think I will definitely have to cut back on the time I spend blogging in order to keep on top of things. Beccah xxthehonestolive.com

    • Abigail West says:

      I was amazed at myself for fitting it all in but keeping to a schedule really helped. Right now I am struggling to just blog so I've definitely lost my tracks haha! I go back to university in September for my final year and am getting worried that I will not find any time to blog, may have to cut it down to once a week. Abs x

  11. The Sweet Seven Five says:

    You definitely have it sussed, I need to learn from you and get in a good routine haha! Good luck with your next job, hope it goes better than the crying kid! Thanks for sharing your advice xYasmin xThe Sweet Seven Five

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