Balancing Work and Travel

Balancing Work and Travel

Traveling is generally a fun and exciting journey–and unless you’re on a work trip, work is the furthest thing from your mind. So what do you do when you’re still in school but have a big trip planned or one springs itself on you last minute? The first thing to do, if you’re a stressed out student like me, is not to panic. Everything in the world may seem like its due before, during or after your trip and it may seem impossible to get through it all, but you will.

A few weeks ago I was presented with the incredible opportunity to travel to Madrid to attend the 2018 Iberdrola Scholarship Awards, chaired by Queen Letizia of Spain. While this was obviously a super cool chance to travel and possibly meet royalty, it was also pretty last minute and I had a lot of work that needed to be done. I love to travel and didn’t want to miss out, so I booked my flight late on a Wednesday night and got to work. I was set to leave Syracuse that Monday afternoon, so I only had a few days to really focus and work and knew I needed to make them count because I probably wouldn’t have the time to do any of it while I was away. I also know myself really well and knew that I’d have absolutely no interest in doing school work while in Spain.

The best thing I did during this time was rank assignments and commitments in order of importance and complete them as such. I made sure to write everything down and know when it was due so I could schedule out the approximate time I’d need to finish everything. By some miracle, I managed to get it all done and was able to just enjoy my trip and all the amazing things that came with it. Of course, I had a lot of work left to do when I came back, but I just sucked it up and jumped right back into things, working until I was done.

That’s the best advice I can give to anyone thinking of traveling during a semester of grad school–don’t give up and keep pushing until you’ve finished everything you wanted to do. We all pay a lot to be here working away at our programs, so we owe it to ourselves to do the best we can in the short time we’re here in Syracuse.

If you’re looking into traveling somewhere during the semester, don’t be scared of how much you’ll have to get done. Once you book those tickets everything becomes very real and you switch into work mode and don’t stop until it’s trip time. Just trust me on this. It may not seem like it now, but something in you will find the strength and time to get everything done. You were accepted into one of the best communications schools in the country, so you’re already working harder than a lot of other people our age, so you can handle it. I’m not going to lie to you, the time before the trip will be a lot of work and preparation and will probably require a lot of sleepless nights, but it will be all worth it in the end to be able to relax a bit and enjoy whatever place you’ve decided to go explore.

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Rachel Burt
Rachel is a graduate student in the Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism program here at Newhouse. In her limited spare time she likes to read, take photos, sing and watch Netflix.

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