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Balancing School, Work and Personal Life

Friday, November 3, 2023

Being a college student can be considered a full-time job, but learning to juggle it in addition to another job and your personal life can be a little tricky. Nevertheless, finding a balance is vital to your success as a student and your own well-being.

Consider the three as a domino effect. If one is well managed, you will likely perform better in the other. By focusing on one area too much, you open yourself up to other potentially negative consequences. For example, your goal is to pick up extra shifts at work one week to get a little extra cash, but because you worked additional hours, you didn’t dedicate enough time to studying, and now your exam grade reflects that. 

Sometimes, we sacrifice our personal time when chasing a successful career and student life. That can cost us our mental and physical health, which comes full circle when you’re not performing at the caliber you expect for yourself in your academics or a professional setting.

Dirt bike rider on cliff

10 Tips for Establishing a School – Work – Life Balance

  • Get organized.
    • Create a schedule to devote blocks of your time to school, your job, and your personal life. It may also be beneficial to regularly review and update your list of priorities and projects.
  • Communicate with family and friends.
    • Communicating your boundaries, schedule and expectations can help develop a level of understanding between your loved ones and friends.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
    • Aim for getting at least seven hours of sleep a night and try to implement a physical fitness routine in your week.
  • Practice mindfulness.
    • Your mental health is just as important—if not more so—as your physical health. Be intentional with your time and allow yourself to prioritize the things that make you happy.
  • Devote time to hobbies.
    • It can’t be all work and no play! Take time to enjoy yourself. Rewarding yourself with a fun day can help you stay motivated when the time comes to stick your nose back to the grindstone.
  • Set limits.
    • Nobody is capable of doing everything. If it doesn’t fit into your list of priorities, learn to say no. It’s true that by doing this, you may miss out on some things, but it also means you’re dedicated to the goals you set to achieve for yourself.
  • Be kind to yourself.
    • It’s great to have high standards of yourself, but you deserve a little grace. Just like we’re incapable of doing it all, we’re also incapable of perfection.
  • Take breaks.
    • Pushing through an 8-hour study session is 1) probably not effective, and 2) likely leads to burnout. Give your brain a second to rest and your body a moment to move. Also, give yourself that homework-free weekend now and then!
  • Don’t procrastinate.
    • I just said breaks are needed, but don’t take so many that you’re behind on your responsibilities. Time management is key.
  • Ask for help.
    • Humility is an admirable quality. But do yourself a favor by getting assistance where you need it.
Nick begging for help

Developing these boundaries and skills now will benefit you in the future as you prepare to enter the full-time workforce. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like our schedules ever get less busy, but you only have a moment once – make the most of all of them.


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