Jennifer Blake: School/Life Balance

School/Life Balance

October 2, 2013

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I would be lying if I told you I have mastered how to balance school and life. I also am starting to think there is no such thing as balance, but rather insane periods of both. There are days where I feel like I do nothing but school work but there are also weekends where I do absolutely no school work and focus on living my life. I am in my 18th year of school, 18th grade if you will. I have done my 4 years of undergrad and I am in my 2nd year of graduate school- my last year! You think I would have this whole balance thing figured out by now...right?

I don't think I have figured out the balance thing yet, but I have for the most part figured out what works for me and what doesn't...

+ Saturdays are typically 'fun' days. This means I do very little work if any, it also means we get out and do something whether that means walking around Barnes and Noble or taking a day trip somewhere.

+ Sundays are a mix. Now that we are back in a routine a typical Sunday for us is coffee and breakfast. Followed by spurts of homework while we watch football. Followed by organizing what is due for the week and what needs to be read for the week.

+ I don't beat myself up for not cooking a meal every night. This one is a work in progress, sometimes I feel like the worst wife ever when I haven't cooked dinner in three strait days. It happens thought, and I have learned that it comes in waves.

+ So the above is not constantly happening, meal planning and grocery shopping on the weekends comes in mighty handy. I do not like having to go grocery shopping after a long day of classes and a long commute, so if we do not have stuff for dinner...well cereal it is.

+ Writing things down. Making a list of everything I need to get done for the week and everything I need to read helps keep me on track. It keeps me from having to flip through my syllabus' all week long seeing if I am forgetting something. I get the list and flipping done Sunday night and I am ready to go for the week.

+ Taking breaks. Typically when I get home we relax for a few before diving into work. Sometimes I take whole nights off (like last night!) but I know it means I will have to get back on track the next night, it is a give and take. I know when it has been a long day and my brain cannot handle more for the day.

+ A supportive husband who is in the same boat helps too!

+ I give myself the night off after the week has ended, my week ends Thursdays so you can bet Thursday nights are all about painting my nails, reading blogs, and catching up on whatever I missed during the week.

+ I clean/shop/run errands/pay bills on Fridays or Sundays. I typically scrub the apartment, get done laundry and all other chores or errands done on Fridays when Aaron is at class or on Sundays when I know we are not going anywhere. If I can get it done on the weekend that means less house work during the week, which means more time for homework and hanging out with Aaron. A clean house makes me less stressed so going into a new week with a clean house is great, other than the occasional tidy during the week!

What do you do to stay balanced?

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