As many of you, my fellow grad students, can relate, achieving harmony among a demanding full-time internship (or job) and a full-time class schedule is no simple feat. If there is anything I learned over the summer, it was the revelation that achieving a work-life balance can be tremendously difficult at times. Finding the time to complete school assignments, study, hang out with friends, date, or even exercise, all while excelling at an internship can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, my classmates and I survived these last few months.
Below are some tips to help to help manage a heavy workload next semester:
-Optimize your time. In other words, assess your typical day and identify time which can be of better use. Personally, I have a long commute so I used the hours I spend on the bus reading for class or relaxing when the rest of my day was hectic. Multitasking plays a part in this took. If you spend time waiting for large files to load at your internship, for instance, use this time to catch up on emails or write a brief outline for a future assignment. Streamline errands, chores, and basic tasks. You can make every minute can count.
-Take advantage of “hybrid” or “online” course offerings. Especially as we approach the brutal winter months, opting for virtual class time can be a smart decision for students who live far from campus or whose work hours sometimes overlap with class time. Although the syllabus will be as rigorous as any other class, online courses offer more flexibility for location and time.
-Psychologist David Kille says, “Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that life doesn’t revolve around your graduate career. Be sure to make compromises to accommodate your partner’s schedule.” Or your friends’ or family’s schedules, for that matter. It can be easy to turn down social invitations when you have a handful of papers with the same due date, however it is essential to schedule time with your loved ones, and to stick to that schedule. Maintaining these relationships is essential to well-being and allows for great recreational outlets as well.