Balancing Work, Personal Time and Staying Fit at Uni

At university, there’s normally a lot going on. There are many things to balance out in short amounts of time whilst studying, so it can be hard to keep track of everything and plan your time. Recently, I’ve been trying to work on improving my figure and physique more, by going to the gym and eating healthily but I did not think it was possible, especially on a student budget like mine, without the help of student loans.

The first step I took towards that was by shopping at Aldi over any of the other supermarkets. For my daily salad I’ve started having, I stuck to a loose but healthy diet, and from this I realised that planning meals ahead was a useful step towards diet plans. I listed out ingredients I needed and occasionally improvised by adding or removing certain healthy ingredients, which made me enjoy my dinner a bit more. Meat that I included in my dinner such as chicken was better bought in bulk or bigger frozen packs as it lasts a bit longer and saves us money in the long run. Here is the recipe for it:


Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad


Romaine Lettuce - A handful or however much you prefer

Chicken - One chicken breast

Bacon - Three slices

Croutons - However many you want, make it rain!

Onion - 1 to 2 onions, depending on its size

Garlic - 2 to 3 cloves

Cherry Tomatoes - Optional, but I normally have 3

Kidney Beans or Mushrooms (Optional)

Bits of sliced Ham, Chorizo, Pepperoni or Salami (Optional but could be an additional treat)

Pepper, Herbs and Garlic Salt (Just a little bit to spice it up!)


1. Preheat the oven then put the chicken following the instructions on the packaging.

2. Prepare the lettuce by cutting it horizontally into sections (I normally cut it all up to pre-prep it and put all of it back in the bag). Then put it in the serving bowl/plate, and rinse or soak it.

3. Throw in cherry tomatoes, and then pour a bit of Caesar Sauce over it and mix it up just so all most of it is covered with a bit of the dressing.

4. Next, dice and chop up the Garlic, Onion, and bacon into little squares, approximately, and then throw it all into a frying pan and start it up (sprinkling a bit of garlic salt onto it), and fry ingredients in pan until slightly browned and add to salad.

6. Once the Chicken is done, take it up and cut it into smaller bite size pieces, and sprinkle some mixed herbs and pepper onto it. Add the chicken to the salad and mix it all up.

7. Dig in!

Here is a quick little video of the process!

Gym - Which gym should I go to?

Since I have been at university, I have been to three different gyms! Here’s what I’d say about them!



The very first gym I joined was Trugym, as my shared flat was located across from/below Drake Circus and by the Barbican. Location wise, this was convenient as I was down the road from it. When I first joined it, I was a beginner and had no idea whatsoever on what I was doing.


  • Decent Equipment
  • Located by Barbican and below uni
  • Good starter Gym


  • Slightly small

Equipment wise, they have the standard stuff like treadmills (a row of them), a weights area, with cable and weight machines by it (about one for each muscle group). It was a good gym to start at as it was also very cheap, which as a student was a bonus!


Nancy Astor Gym (On Campus)

The university gym has basic equipment such as a row of about 6 or so treadmills, several rowing machines and cross trainer machines. Cable/weight wise, they have about 11-12 different machines, ranging from leg press to adjustable standard cable ones. There’s a little corner for deadlifting heavy weights and 2 squat racks with three benches lined next to it in front of a mirror. I’d say that it covers the basics if you just want to get a sweat on and work certain muscle groups to maintain them.


  • Decent Equipment
  • Located on campus
  • Good starter Gym


  • Small



Oh where do I begin? Puregym is quite big compared to the other ones I’ve been at, and it’s got a lot more equipment than I’ve seen in any of the other gyms! They’ve got long rows of treadmills, cross training and bike machines, quite the variety of cable machines that work many different muscles, one of the rooms have mats and several different types of weights on display. They’ve got an app that allows you to look at and book classes, which is mostly free too!

Since coming to this gym, I have managed to focus more on what I’m working at the gym, and have since seen visual progress in terms of my aims to tone up/gain muscle and slim down/lose weight.

If you’re a gym junkie or you’re interested in branching out your workout methods, this is the gym for you! Even if you’re a beginner, it provides gym goers with many different options and staff are also there to help you if any form of help is required.


  • A huge range of Equipment
  • It’s a huge gym
  • Different sectioned off areas/rooms
  • High Tech door system
  • Free Classes


  • Costs a bit more, depending on which package/deal you go with