Don’t worry… this isn’t an article for students of our new Accounting program! We’re not talking about balancing those kind of books, no, we’re talking about getting the balance right between the time you spend on college work and your other commitments in life.
The phrase ‘a healthy work/life balance‘ has been getting a lot of coverage recently, most of it directed at workers who are trying manage 60/70 hour work weeks to the detriment of the rest of their lives, not least their health. But a healthy balance is no less important for students, who face daily challenges of their own with demands on your time, energy and relationships. You may be juggling classes and school work, a job (or maybe two), a family, kids, managing finances, friends and relationships, …the list goes on!
A lack of balance in your life can be overwhelming, and can increase stress and negatively impact your general health and well-being. You have to constantly work at maintaining balance; just close your eyes and picture yourself standing on the middle of a seesaw/teeter-totter!
Just when you get yourself into a position where you feel comfortable with both sides balanced, you relax a little, maybe lose your focus and the balance shifts! It’s the same in life; you need to stay focused on your situation and keep making adjustments to stay in a place where you feel comfortable! Here are a few ideas to help you stay in the middle!
Don’t strive for perfection!
Be satisfied with your own achievements; remember that you are at Carrington to improve yourself and your career, so don’t compare yourself to your classmates. Look at where you are now versus 6 months ago; measure your own progress but don’t seek perfection, you’re human and therefore imperfect!
Don’t be afraid to say no! A well organized schedule is important, but many of us over clutter it! We all think we can achieve more than is usually possible, so cut back your commitments where you can. Give yourself some ‘me time’, even if it is as simple as a soak in a bath with a novel, or half an hour walking in the fresh air. You have to make time for yourself, and it needs to be quality time too. Not just 20 minutes at the end of the day before you fall into bed!
Set your priorities!
College is not a life sentence; you may be with us for as few as 8 months, or up to 2 years depending on the program you are enrolled in. So re-prioritize where you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help; is there someone else you can lean on a little? If you have a family, can your partner take on more at home? Can you rely on a friend to take the kids off your hands once in a while to give you a break?
Keep your stress in check!
Having stress is a normal part of life, it’s how you handle it that makes a difference to you. Don’t focus on the stress, it will only make it worse. Admit to yourself that ‘I’m stressed!’ and then work out how to deal with it! Get some sleep, eat well, exercise, enjoy some quiet time, have fun, and get some perspective. Remember your career path, and the reason why you’re here! It’s not forever!
Manage you first!
Are other people adding unnecessary stress to your life at a time when you’ve got more than enough to deal with? It’s hard enough handling your own problems, without being a permanent leaning post for others around you. How can you help others if your being worn down yourself? Don’t be afraid to speak up, or even take a step back for a while. Your friends and family may not know how stressed you are, so why not share your situation; you’ll feel better for it, and you may get some help of your own!
Finally, if you’re struggling with the balance in your life, don’t be afraid to talk to your Carrington College California instructors; use their experience to your advantage. Our knowledgeable, approachable faculty members have all walked in your shoes at some point, and they do consider themselves mentors more than teachers. Your well-being is equally as important to all of us as your academic progress, so if you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
©2012 Carrington Colleges Group. All Rights Reserved. Programs vary by location.