The Secret to Balancing Work and School

This one is for all the students on WriterAccess – I know there are a few of you out there. Whether you’re still attending school, or decided to go back, it is tough balancing school and work life without getting overwhelmed.

I’ve been interning here at WriterAccess for about two months now. Starting back in January, I learned the ropes and the tricks of the trade. While dedicating 30+ hour work weeks to gain valuable experience, I also had a full schedule of classes to take on as I wrapped up my senior year.  The combination of work, school and homework is making for an insanely hectic last semester. When I tell people about it, they look at me as if I’m crazy, wondering how I don’t crack under the stress, but really, it’s quite simple – the secret to not stressing is to not stress. Confused? Don’t be. Let me give you some insight.

Time Management

With graduation in two months, the school work has really started to pile on these past few weeks. Midterms, papers, and essays always seem to be due on the same day.  The secret sauce when tackling everything is time management. It is the most crucial piece of advice I can share with you.

Listen, I’ll be honest for a second here. I’m a major procrastinator. I used to be, at least. During my previous semesters in school, I always waited until the last possible minute to complete something. Fortunately, I always managed to get away with it. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it no longer works while balancing work and school. It just doesn’t. There’s simply not enough time to put everything off until the final second. Feel free to keep to-do lists, planners, and schedules if it will help, but always be sure to be on top of all your assignments. When you’re assigned something, you should know in the back of your head when it’ll be taken care of—pick a day, an afternoon or a weekend. Everything else should fall into place once you get a good schedule going.

Relax

When managing your workload, never forget to squeeze in some down time. You’ll burn yourself out if you keep at it for too long. Those long grinds help nobody – you get tired, and your work suffers as a result. Finding leisure time is absolutely beneficial to success. And try not to think about your work while you do it! I know it might be hard, but try and push it out of your mind for the time being. You’ll get back to it, and you know you’ll get it done, so why worry about it now? Kick back, and relax. You deserve it.

No Excuses

There are no excuses in the working world, and I take that mantra with me when I attend class. It absolutely amazes me how many students I see come up with clever excuses for why they didn’t get their essay done on time. If something is due, how can someone have such complete disrespect to not finish an assignment on time? Look, I know there are times when emergencies come up. It happens. But what bothers me is when I see students clearly lying about it, and then bragging about how they got away with it afterwards.

Never make excuses – not to yourself, or to anyone else. Always take pride in your work and be accountable. It will make you a better person in the long run. I guarantee it.

If you talk yourself into being stressed, you will be stressed. So that’s where the secret comes in: don’t talk yourself into being stressed. It really is as simple as that. If you feel the walls start closing in, take a minute and step back. Breathe a little bit, reassess the situation, and get right back at it. Stress is a silly thing that shouldn’t weigh you down. Take pride in your work, have fun, and set out to learn something new with each assignment you master.

Ah, you can feel the weight coming off your back already, can’t you?


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