Attending grad school and working a full-time career is a daunting undertaking. For many people, the work week is stressful enough without adding on evening classes, in-depth papers, and group projects. However, in order to further your career, grad school might be the only option. So, how do you manage to maintain your work life, your home life, and your academia without losing your sanity?
While it can be a busy season in your life, it is possible to navigate both grad school and your full-time job with minimal stress. Here are fives tips to help you through the process:
While in undergrad you had the time to play the field with your major, most people don’t have that luxury with grad school. It is imperative you find out which program is suited to your needs so you don’t waste time and money in a program that’s useless to your future career goals.
Talk to other grad students who have either completed a program you’re interested in or are currently in the program. Consider what classes fit into your schedule and what extracurriculars the class requires in comparison to the time constraints of your schedule.
Once you’ve found the right program, what schools offer the program? One of the easiest ways to implement grad school seamlessly into your routine is to find a school that’s flexible with your schedule, nearby, or offers online programs like San Diego degree programs, which allow you to complete a program from home.
2. Plan Ahead
Once you’ve found the right program, set up a timetable for the application process. If you’ve been out of school for some time, it can be difficult to get back into mindset of school and application deadlines. On a calendar or on your phone, list out all of the important dates for your application. Being prepared and getting a head start on the process will alleviate any additional stress.
3. Support System
Maintaining both grad school and a career is hard work. Both require time, energy, and focus. Add that on top of a family or outstanding social obligations and the whole process can feel overwhelming. Because of the energy it takes to excel at both, you need a solid support system. Whether it’s family and friends or your coworkers, having a support system will help keep you afloat.
4. Time Management
Determine what your priorities are. Both work and grad school require commitments, thus how will you adjust your schedule accordingly? Time management is key. Schedule out your time so you know when and where to devote your time. This will keep you from missing work obligations or procrastinating assignments.
When things get tough, remember why you started in the first place. Set milestones and goals and reward yourself when you meet those achievements. Taking the time to celebrate will remind you of your accomplishments and keep you motivated to seeing it through to the end.
Above all, grad school is only a small portion of your life. Enjoy your time as a student, and make the most of it.