Have you asked yourself, after a tough week at work and school, why am I trying to get a degree now? I have, several times during my educational journey. I am very familiar with trying to balance work, family, and school. At times, it seems that you don’t have enough time to get everything done. Sure, you have heard from advisors and friends to balance your life. However, it is not as easy as it may seem. I was working full time, helping raise the children, building relationships with my wife and friends. Then I decided to add another level of obligation – school, more specifically my Master’s degree.
The first step I took was to have an open discussion with my family. I told them that I needed them to help me reach my goal. I explained that I would need to have time in the evening to do school work. Together we worked out a time schedule. I would be available for my family for supper and bedtime. Then two hours after supper was my school time. The other compromise was that I would not do any schoolwork on the weekend. That rule made me focus on schoolwork during the week and family on the weekend. It proved to be a well-planned break.
You can do too much schoolwork, just as you can work too much. You need to take a break for both physical and mental health reasons. I had my children and wife tell me when I was doing too much or remind me that the weekends were their time with me. When I earned my degree, it was because of the support of the family. When I decided to go for a doctorate, it much easier since they already knew what part they played in journey. You need the support and guidance of your family, friends, and co-workers. The support is not only for providing you the time to get your studies done, but to have someone to turn to when you have reached that brick-wall, usually week 7, when you ask yourself why am I trying to get a degree now?
It is hard to say “No” to your family and friends, but you have to remind yourself of the end goal – graduation. Work/Life/School balance takes work, compromising, and sacrifice from you and family, but the rewards are great. I leave you with a saying from my mentor and a question for each one of you. “Keep the faith and the fire”. How are you handling the balancing act of work/life/school and how can you keep the faith to continue through to reach your goals and how do you keep the fire of desire to obtain the final step of your educational journey – graduation?
Author bio: Jennifer Cook writes on student life, going back to school and online learning technology for Strayer.edu. When she isn't writing, you can track her down in the library, trying to check out more books than her card allows.