The start of a semester can be full of new opportunities and fresh motivation – you’re beginning classes and you’re one step closer to achieving your goals. But finding a way to make room for school in your already busy schedule can be a tough adjustment for many students.
We talked with Herzing nursing student Shenese Stewart about how she manages to strike a balance between school, work and everything in between. Here's what she had to say.
How important is it to have a work/school/family balance?
It is very important to have balance, and sometimes you do need to make a choice. It may not be realistic to do everything at one time. I would rather take a step back to be more productive instead of attempting to do everything half-heartedly and fail. This can apply to how many hours you’re working, how many classes you’re taking, or the number of extracurricular activities you participate in. Don’t be afraid to scale back in one area if you think it will help you be more successful overall.
How do you manage your time successfully while having a job and family/friends?
Effective priority setting and time management take practice. I make appointments and write everything on my calendar and I also use an app that helps me keep track of my assignments, appointments, and family and friend time. My family and friends are aware that I cannot be as spontaneous as I was before I was in school, so we plan things in advance so I can join the fun, but also devote the time needed to my responsibilities.
What do you do to relax when you’re feeling stressed?
I find I am most stressed when I am tired, so I usually take a nap first. I also make sure I schedule a "nothing" day every few weeks. This is when I sleep in and spend the day doing whatever I feel like doing.
Do you have any secret study tips?
My secret study tip is to read the assignment twice, but at two different times. It’s like watching a movie the second time. You see the details you missed the first time.
Tell us about a time when you struggled in college. How did you overcome it?
My most recent challenge has been working more hours at my job each week, which has decreased my time to study. I cannot decrease my hours, and I cannot afford to stop working, so I decreased the number of classes I was taking. In order to be successful, you have to make realistic adjustments for your life. My advice is not to compare yourself to what other people are doing. Everyone's situation is different. Make the necessary adjustments for your situation and be successful. Keep your eye on the prize, your goal in your mind, and grind it out until you achieve it.
Tell us about a moment where you felt like the goals set for your Herzing education became possible.
The moment I felt my goals became possible was my first day of classes. I felt grateful and proud to be furthering my education.