side bar
Sunday, September 27, 2020

Graduate School Guide

Balancing act: tips on how to stay sane with school and work


| Photo illustration by Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

The hardest part of going back to school when you’re working full time is figuring out how you’ll manage your time between school, work and your personal life. Here are a few tips to help you manage the transition.


It is important to plan out a weekly schedule. Fill in your time commitments — work, school, meetings — first. Then incorporate two study hours for every hour you’re in class.  It is important to free-up some personal and social time for yourself to relax and reduce stress. Some helpful planning apps you can use are Cozi and Google Calendar.

Study Habits

You should develop an effective method for note taking and eliminate thinking that results in procrastination. Not starting an assignment because you have plenty of time usually leads to working on it last minute.  Also, get to know your professors. You’ll be more appreciative of the courses, and it makes it easier to seek help when you need it.

Work efficiently

A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind. According to, it’s important to organize your work space. Give everything a proper place to make sure you know where everything is at. Stop multitasking because it results in poor quality of work. Don’t take on more than you can accomplish. Know when to pass down tasks to others.

Know how to handle stress

Part of balancing school and work is to keep them separate from each other. Don’t worry about school if you’re at work or the other way around. It is impossible to eliminate stress but you can learn how to manage it, according to Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Find out what works for you, whether it’s working out, talking to friends or family, eating, listening to music or even sleeping. Don’t overwork yourself and make sure you are taking 5-10 minute breaks when you’re working or studying.

Keep your eyes on the goal

There’s a reason you decided to go back to school. Whenever the workload starts piling up, just keep in mind that it will all pay off in the long run. According to it is important to identify your priorities. Make sure every day is planned out and productive to avoid distractions. Everything you plan out should chip away and get you closer to your goal.

Back to Top ↑
  • Sign up for our Email Edition

  • Follow us on Twitter

  • Polls

    How are your classes going so far?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...