Balancing Work and School

Balancing Work and School

By Kyla Wright

How do I balance work and school? That’s a great question, but I don’t really know the answer. I could give a cliche answer about a 60/40 balance or daily planning, but quite frankly, I don’t have my life that together, at least yet. 

I’m pretty spontaneous, ambitious and busy which works well for some, but not others. I’m the most organized, unorganized person I know BUT, as I’ve entered grad school, I’ve learned that I have to begin to teach myself about how to keep my life intact. First things first, I use a planner. I write out important events, assignments and my work schedule as I receive it. My boyfriend uses a calendar and Microsoft outlook to plan out his weeks. My mom also uses a planner, in addition to an app, “Cozi,” which not only allows you to add your schedule, but your family’s also. 

When utilizing a planner or calendar, I highly recommend color coding with highlighters, as well. In many apps, they usually allow you to sort various activities by color. For example, class can be blue, assignments can be yellow, work can be pink, extracurricular activities can be green, and so forth. On the flip side, some people don’t like color coding and see it as confusing i.e. my boyfriend. He simply writes his days out in his calendar chronologically. 

Now, no matter what method of planning you use, don’t write/type it out and leave it there. If you’re hand writing your work and class schedule, look at it at the beginning of the week and at the beginning of every day – look at what you have to do that day and the next. If you’re utilizing an app or online calendar, ensure that your notifications are turned on, and check the settings to adjust how early and often you’ll receive a push notification to your phone or computer. 

I also schedule “me-time” as well. I don’t always write that out, but mentally, it’s engraved. Here’s an example: on Wednesday’s, I work from 12-5, and have class from 6:45-9:35. Obviously, Wednesday is one of my long days, so I need a little “me-time” to keep myself level-headed. Now, my “me-time” is in different stages. My professional me-time consists of managing my business, recording and/or editing a video for my YouTube channel, blogging, writing in my planner, completing scholarship/internship/job applications or sending emails. My personal me-time consists of napping (yes, napping – don’t judge me, it’s good for the soul), FaceTiming family and friends, scrolling on social media, watching TV or movies. Okay, back to my Wednesday. When I get off at 5, I stay on campus until class begins and depending on the day, will either knock out some professional me-time tasks, or catch up on homework. I go to class, and have personal me-time afterwards to wind down before bed, unless I have a large project/assignment to work on, or need to catch up on work. 

Semester to semester, I change things around, but I have found myself with a busy, yet still healthy work-school-personal life balance. In my first semester of grad school, I balance nearly four jobs, a 12-credit course load, a business, a few extracurricular activities, a relationship and family. If I can do it, surely you can. 

Kyla Wright