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The Life of a Grad Student: How to Balance it All

posted by LIM College

by Caroline Franco

Being a graduate student is kind of surreal. I'm beyond being a 'big girl' now, as I'm almost done with my Master's degree. I have real responsibilities and am definitely considered an adult, a cool one, that is. Although graduation couldn't come soon enough, (C'mon December!), I still have to manage my responsibilities: juggle life in the concrete jungle with internships, long commutes, and school, as well as my personal downtime.

How am I still sane? Lots of venti lattes, comfortable shoes, and of course, a great sense of humor. But the way I get through it all is by having two major things that I work with in my life: schedules and a positive mindset.

Schedules: The best way to keep me rational during crazy times is to make schedules. I love schedules and I'm pretty sure they love me back. Waking up at the break of dawn to make it to spinning class—is it really worth it if I already have so much on my plate? The answer is yes, because spinning makes me happy and I can fit that into my schedule. The key to balancing all of your responsibilities is taking time to do what makes you happy.

What I have never given up during stressful and hectic times is doing things for myself; things that may seem silly but make me happy. To some it may be getting a ten minute massage, going to grab coffee with a friend, or even hiking. Make schedules in advance with your school and work to balance out your needs, wants and demands!

Know when to prioritize tasks—prioritizing your tasks and responsibilities is essential to make life easier—that's why you create a list that starts out with the most important all the way down to the frivolous.

Mindset: You've probably already heard of the saying “You can do anything you set your mind to.” Benjamin Franklin was right. If you change the way your mind works and put a positive spin on it, you'll be able to accomplish more than you thought you would. I know, it might seem a tad cliched, but it's true. Seeing situations in a different perspective and changing how you're reacting to stressful job tasks, slow walkers, and a test in class can help you in the long run. Except for the slow walkers, no one has time for that.

As we all start a new semester, let's start off with a positive mindset and prioritizing your tasks. Life's good, and we have to enjoy every bit of it.

Topics: student life, Student Advice