How To Balance a Career and Graduate School

Posted: September 09, 2020 | Author: Grace Thorkelson | Read Time: 3 minutes

Balancing a career and graduate schoolBalancing a career and a graduate program may seem like a daunting task, and while it will likely bring challenges, it can also be very rewarding. Here are four tips for students who are striving to balance their career and a graduate program simultaneously.

Manage your Time

Abound Grad School advises students that, “One of the most important aspects of time management is knowing yourself and scheduling time to study at your most efficient work hours. This might mean staying up later than normal or getting up early on weekends to get in your study time. Time blocking is one technique that helps you to prioritize your to do list, and honestly scheduling the time necessary for each task at the best time of the day.” Planning ahead can surely help you to stay focused and motivate you to accomplish your goals.

Although procrastination may be something you are all too familiar with, doing so while working full-time and earning your master’s degree may not be a viable path to success. Work ahead if possible, and stay caught up with assignments and reading. Doing so will relieve the stress and anxiety that comes along with working to complete something just before the due date. As previously mentioned, make an effort to create a schedule for yourself and stick to it.

Take Time for Yourself

Having said that, don’t hesitate to take time for yourself. Whether it be a weekend getaway with your family or simply exercising for an hour every morning. Don’t underestimate the power of giving time to the things that help you find balance in your life. When the candle seems to be burning low, taking time for yourself may be the last thing on your mind--but, it also may be the most important. Allowing yourself to have a break from the busy and mundane aspects of your life can allow you to excel in each facet of your life.

Communicate your Needs with Family and Faculty

Your professors will not be naive to the fact that a portion of their students are working (part or full-time) to provide for their needs and to lessen student loans. Be open about how you feel, the struggles you may be facing, and what your professors can do to help you be successful. Most faculty members are genuinely interested in your lives and will show a sincere desire to help you overcome the various obstacles you will face.

Communicating openly with your family about the stress you are feeling and how they can help you overcome the challenges of balancing two important undertakings can be critical to your progress. Don’t hesitate to voice your concerns and to get help with tasks around the house in order for you to focus on your career and graduate degree.

Be Strategic

Be sure to utilize the opportunities you are given at work and school to ‘kill two birds with one stone’. Don’t simply work hard, work smart, too.

The article Balancing Work and Grad School? Your 4-Step Survival Guide states, “The most successful grad students don’t just work hard--they also work smart. For example, you may have to complete research or thesis projects as part of your classwork. Why not try to tie your school project into something you’re already working on at your 9-to-5?”

Produced by SUU Graduate Studies

SUU's Graduate School draws from a prestigious heritage and allows students to pursue a quality education. The master's degree programs offer students the chance to further their professional and educational careers on campus or online.

Tags: Graduate Programs

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