Maintaining a Healthy Balance Between School and Work

schoolworklifeSome call it the ultimate balancing act. We all need to survive and it can be tough out there. Sometimes your ten-hour weekend, part-time job can turn into a regular 25-30 hour gig… without you even noticing. Reasons behind this may be that coworker of yours who just the company left needs to be replaced, the Christmas holidays brought about more openings, business is booming, etc. whatever the excuse may be…your presence is needed, and what may seem like a good idea right now may have a negative impact later on.

In regards to my experience, I am a work-a-holic and yes, my social life does suffer drastically due to this. These are choices that we make and sometimes we have to weigh the consequences of them more thoroughly. Will all this hard work be worth it in the end? Will making that extra 50$ be worth it when I have to cram for my midterm? Can I afford another sleepless night? If the answer isn’t a solid yes, then maybe you should be rethinking your goals. For me, I have always enjoyed working and gaining new experience at various companies because I see these as learning processes for skills I may need later on in life. I worked at a cell phone company throughout my undergraduate university days and upon graduation, I was offered a fairly high-ranking position at their head office once I got my degree (which is not a tech-related degree, by any means). I put in 30 hours a week (“part time”) and had to make up for it by late night cram sessions and an overloaded school work schedule due to the assignments piling up. Nevertheless, I did it and at the time I thought it was worth it because all I wanted was to be promoted to head office upon graduation, which was my ultimate goal. However, during this period I wasn’t thinking of my health and there came a point when I was so overwhelmed with this balancing act that I found myself in a constant bad mood and stopped enjoying every aspect of both school and work, which was completely out of my norm. Due to the stress, I was blaming my problems on my duties; however, the only one to blame was me taking on more than I could handle. Unfortunately, his is a common trend amongst many students, overworking our minds and bodies are common trends amongst students these days.

As the New Year has come and gone, now is about the time when everyone starts making their resolutions. Instead of making a ‘set in stone’ resolution, why not try to make some minor changes to areas in your life that you know are bringing you extra stress. While having a two-week study break once a month would be ideal, unfortunately, it is not reality. But taking a break every once in a while would be a good start! Make sure to always include some ‘you’ time and although finances, core classes, tight scheduling and opportunity come knocking on our doors more often than not, let them wait in 2015, think about what is right for you, right now and the more confident you are to take on a project, the more successful you will be at it! Below is a short list I have compiled that will give you some tips and suggestions on how to balance your work and school life and keep you on track:

 

-Find a healthy balance – social life, job, studying.

-Especially new students – three-four long years of schooling ahead of – plan ahead!

-Make the calendar your best friend – Don’t just put your deadlines in the calendar, try to put the pre-work in the calendar, too.

-Prioritize your time!

-Sacrifice, unfortunately, is part of the role.

-Use your time efficiently (avoid time conflicts).

-Do not commit to something that you foresee yourself not being able to handle – make sure your course load/work schedule is manageable.

 

Good luck to you all in 2015! Wishing you an amazing start to a new year!

Lisa

“Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward.”

-Maxwell Maltz

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