Work and Life
You Can Do It! Tips for Balancing School, Work and Life
Written by: Christine Reid
Posted: December 29, 2017
Being a mature student comes with its challenges. While pursuing an undergraduate degree brings questions for some about campus living, forging new community, and embracing new academic content, attending school in your late 20s provides a new plateau when it comes to discerning life priorities. Often those who choose to attend school or return to school at 25 or older have families, jobs, and other responsibilities that most younger folks are fortunate enough not to have. Navigating life as an adult while going to school at the same time can be difficult, but there are some strategies that can mitigate the pressure that students are confronted with.
One of the first strategies mature students can employ to balance the pressures of school and work or managing their own business is to stay organized. Having a routine and schedule can keep students who have various commitments to stay on task and be certain they are using their time appropriately. Not only that, if we discover how to manage our time effectively we can be more intentional about how we spend it. In other words, it is important to consider why we spend time advancing our education. Is it simply to get a higher paying job or is it because we have a drive to do something more with our lives and leave a legacy? When we organize our time around creating meaningful and purposeful practices, our lives become more productive and it’s also a driving force for happiness. As a student, not only is having a plan critical for the next few days or weeks, but having an overall perspective on our life goals allows us to take advantage of the time we have in an ever changing and rapidly expanding contemporary social world.
Exercise and Eat
A second approach which students can employ to make certain they are maintaining their well-being and productivity throughout their academic pursuits is to exercise and eat. Taking care of the body is something we often take for granted, particularly when we are busy. If we are always trying to squeeze in some extra time to study, working, or spending time with our loved ones and so forth, taking care of ourselves can become less of a priority. What we often fail to recognize though is that when we do not take the time to care for ourselves we are less apt to spend quality time with our families or manage to get good grades in school. Maintaining health is a key component in being successful while navigating a plethora of demands.
Take Pleasure in Everyday Activities
Coat-tailing on the last suggestion and promoting the sense of living an overall happy life, one of my personal recommendations would be to try and take as much pleasure in everyday activities such as sleeping, walking, and eating. When we are busy we often tend to rush through what we consider to be mundane day-to-day activities, but in reality these activities help anchor us in life. When we lose cognizance of this we get bogged down with stress more easily as we are preoccupied with running around and attending to tasks. Being mindful about our everyday interactions can help to ease the tension which comes with navigating our busy lives.
When we are extra busy, our relationships are often the first aspects of life to fall to the curb. Nonetheless, when we are at our busiest that’s when we should draw on our close relationships for strength. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend for help to take the kids to soccer practice while you study for a test. Take time to go have tea with your brother for an hour to debrief about life. Although it may seem that you do not have time to spend on relationships outside of those related to school or work, these are the times when we most need the support of others dear to us.
Cultivate Positive Emotions
Whether you participate in meditation and/or prayer, take time each day for gratitude or spend time doing something you enjoy. When we become increasingly busy juggling the demands of school, work, and home life can feel incredibly overwhelming at times and so we need to ensure that we’re cultivating positive emotions. It is far too easy to fall into a monotonous rut where life feels a bit pointless, particularly when we are attempting to keep up with the rat race. Being intentional about creating space to feel well is essential to your health and will ultimately give you the energy to strive to meet the more tangible goals in your life.
Christine Reid works as a writer and as a business owner. To get in touch with her, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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