It is quite ironic that I am writing about this topic. And if you are anything like me, I bet you are a student who is trying to or is balancing work, school, and other extracurricular activities. The irony of it all is that although I am going to be giving some tips and tricks for having a more balanced life, I am struggling a bit to keep it that way. There are times when it seems quite difficult to keep everything in balance or when you will fail, but hey, it happens! Anyway, let us get on to the tips for keeping a more balanced life.
1. Make a schedule
I always try to have a schedule ready for the week ahead of me. When I do this, I have a better idea of times slots that I can use for studying, having fun, etc. Of course, work is important, but if you happen to have a flexible employer, taking a day off before an exam can prove to be important and it will definitely relieve some stress. As of now, I have two jobs, one being on campus and my schedule for that job is really flexible. This allows me to have more time to dedicate to my other job, studies, and extracurricular activities that I may have.
2. Keep a planner
Oh my gosh, this is a must and a lifesaver! When I first moved here, I did not keep a planner and I regretted it. I was always forgetting which assignments were due for class, and on what date. Since I was not organized, my life seemed to be more hectic than it actually needed to be. So now, I write down all of the meetings that I will have throughout the week, my homework assignments, and other relevant information. And when I have done the assignment, or have gone to the meeting, I take a highlighter and highlight over it, which lets me know that I no longer have to worry about it.
3. Give your school schedule to your boss
I know that many employers on and around the campus are understanding of students and their school schedules. It is because of this that it would be a smart idea to give your class schedule to your boss, then that way they can work with and around your school schedule. I know from personal experience, that most employers are pretty understanding and considerate of students.
4. Homework comes first
Of course, some may argue that there are other priorities, but after you get home from work or you get out of class, or have some time to do something, do your homework. Just get it out of the way. The sooner you finish your homework, the sooner you get to play!
5. Take breaks
I cannot stress this one enough. If you plan to spend a whole evening at the library, make sure to take several breaks to surf the internet, stretch, get a drink of water, etc. I know that when I sit down to do homework, I must take breaks every so often. The same goes with writing papers. There are times when I get stuck and I have no idea what to write about next, so I’ll leave the paper as it is, take a break, then when I feel more relaxed, I come back to finish it up.
6. Have fun!
I feel that this can be tied with taking breaks. We all know that the overall stress that builds up from trying to balance school, work, and other activities, may lead to burn out. However, if you plan a day to spend with friends, or a spa day with girlfriends, then having to go back to the ‘real world’ of school and work will become less stressful.
Well, there you have it. Some tips on managing work and school. Now I am aware that I am not expert on this topic, but I have had my fair share of attempting to balance everything in my life. While I may have fallen once or twice or maybe even more along the way, I just get back up and try again. Good luck!
By Antonia Rojas