Do we have enough spare time as students?

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When going to school it can be seemingly difficult to find a proper study-life balance that allows one to perfectly manage one’s time in a fulfilling fashion. We are hit with responsibilities and duties, such as work and self-studying, which can make other various desires, like keeping in touch with friends and families or watching random shows on Netflix, difficult to realize, leaving us feeling like we do not have enough leisure time. But is this feeling accurate?

Is it actually true that we students lack spare time? Let’s do some simple maths to try and figure this out; So, assuming that we have 4 courses per semester with an estimated 200-hour-workload (or 7,5 ECTS credit) each. This includes teaching, preparing for teaching, self-study, and time spent reviewing assignments in plenary.

Thus it means that we have an expected workload of 800 hours per semester. If we then estimate that we have around 105 days from semester start till our first exam in winter, we promptly find out that we are expected to spend around 7 hours and 37 minutes per day working, or ca 53 hours per week, in order to go through the course material. If we allow ourselves one day off each week, we instead get an expected workload of 8 hours and 53 minutes.

You may think that is an awful lot of- or few- (depending on who you are as a person) anticipated hours spent per day studying. Regardless, it does not automatically translate into getting a good grade, should you spend those exact amount of hours going through the course material every day.

According to the 2013 international-survey Eurostudent, which is conducted every three years, Norwegian students spend on average 32 hours per week studying, or around 4,5 hours per day, which is way less than what the courses expects one to study per day.

If we reserve 8 hours for sleep, we are left with 16 more hours of the day. Should we decide to study for 7 hours and 37 minutes every single day, we are left with around 8 hours for leisure activities, which actually is plentiful- or is it?

Should we decide to study for 7 hours and 37 minutes every single day, we are left with around 8 hours for leisure activities, which actually is plentiful- or is it?

We must not forget that there are several other things in life that also takes time, such as commuting, food preparation, and paid work. The Norwegian National Travel survey from 2013/14 states that the average Norwegian commutes for 78 minutes every day, leaving the time we have left to do leisure activities even less. Take part-time paid work into the equation and we have a lot less time.

However, as stated earlier, the actual average time spent per week studying is around 32 hours for Norwegian students. This means that we actually do have plenty of time to do other things unless we’re bound by other forms of responsibilities and work, and it seems like we actually do spend time doing other things than studying for half of the day. Sure, there are other things, such as food preparation and commuting that takes up some of our time, but for the average student it’s not stopping them or preventing them from having time they can spend on their studies or for leisure acticvities.

Which leaves us with the conclusion, after thorough and immensely complicated calculations, that not having enough time doesn’t really seem like an excuse for the average Norwegian student! Now, go do whatever you were supposed to do!

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