Finding a Healthy Balance Between School and Client Work
By Hannah Lopez, Creative Coordinator, Fall 2019
Being enrolled in so many credit hours all while working for a student organization can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health. As students, we are already busy enough, so any other responsibilities just contribute to the stress. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who feels this way! As someone who is going through this now (and many other people who can speak on my behalf) I’ve learned how to manage my time in a way that keeps me in routine, yet clears up enough free time for other activities.
I can’t say this enough, but do not feel ashamed about taking some time for yourself. In this chaotic world, many of us forget to do so and end up scrambling to get so much done in a day. Your mental health is incredibly important, and you’ll realize this when you are doing work for multiple outlets, such as a class and an agency. That being said, here are a few pieces of advice that I have learned so far (sometimes the hard way) that may come as of help:
Establish clear priorities - Which assignment has the most recent deadline? What project is going to take you the longest to complete? Putting the most important tasks first is key to eventually making progress in your work schedule.
Take breaks - Seriously, you need it. This can mean anything from getting some food, to simply taking a nap. It may seem like you have to get everything done all at once, but constant work will take a toll on your overall well-being.
Collaborate with others - Is there anyone you could work on the same assignment with? Sometimes it helps to work with others because the motivation is already there -- they can answer your questions, provide meaningful feedback, and share knowledge that you may not be able to access on your own. You don't need to go through this alone.
Talk it out - Vent when needed. This is so helpful because your fellow peers are most likely going through the same thing. Holding in your stress will only make you worry more, and there are people who are here for you and want to help if you reach out.
This is advice that can be applied to anything, not just college or a job in a student agency. The more involved you become in the industry/lifestyle you want to pursue, the busier you’ll get. Beginning a workday with a calm and rested mind will make things a lot easier, and may even allow you to get a head start on future projects.
Take time for yourself and don’t allow work to deter you from proper sleep, leisure, and nutrition. We’re all in this together -- just take each day one step at a time.