Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Challenges of Balancing Work and College

Dublin, Ireland

Originally this post was going to focus on the ways I try to balance work and college the best way possible but it wouldn't be very true to the point I am right now. 

I'd say I'm someone that balances college and work pretty well in general but with that said, there do come stressful times where things just don't run as smoothly.

Like myself, many people in college have a job alongside college either Part-time or Full-time. I'm quite lucky to be in the position where my college hours, at least for this first semester, allows me to to the 32-37.5 hours of work I generally do.

Mentally it's rewarding to be able to discipline myself to commit as much as possible of myself to both this aspects of my life that take the majority of my time. Emotionally it's fulfilling to know I'm finally studying a course I enjoy, working towards a career I'll hopefully enjoy more and working in a fun job that pays my bills and gives me a sense of financial security. Physically running between work and college and friends, the gym membership has gone out the window in favor of a more easily accessible home fitness regime so there's a few bucks to save.

As great as it is, sometimes having to move from errand to errand, place to place can quickly get out of hand and I find myself spiraling into a situation where I'm completely spent. And these are the times where I take a little step back and reevaluate the situation and there are a few key things I look at. 

1. Sleep

Sleep is fundamental to my attitude, emotional and mental outlook. Without adequate sleep I am unable to perform to the level I want which then causes unnecessary stress making it harder for me to sleep and so the cycle continues which is how the last week has been.

As I write this I went to bed at 1am after arriving home from work just after midnight and did not wake up until 11am. I had breakfast and went back to bed for a nap. I'd spent my entire shift complaining about how tired I was and I was going to do something about it.

2. Diet

Ever since I started my job in the food sector my brain has been under the impression that because I was saving some money every time I got a free meal at work, it meant I should then be eating out for all other meals. Which 1) makes no sense and 2) is still costly and unnecessary.
I don't remember the last time I ate an actual fruit and not used a Naked smoothie as substitute for one. I also haven't cooked any meal that wasn't frying an egg in over three months. It seems I buy fruit and generally food only to decorate the fruit bowl or fridge until it starts to mold. No good at all.

3. Exercise

After paying €99 for a gym membership I did not use once after starting college I decided to do away with it and stick with home fitness. I went back to my Workout Trainer app which I swear by and kettlebell workout videos with Bodyfit by Amy.
The last little while however without adequate sleep or nourishing diet, I've been too tired to even think about exercising properly. Instead fast walking to work, and lifting cans of soft drinks are my new favorite exercises.

4. Water

I use to have to run to the bathroom at least once an hour because of the amount of water I drank. However since starting my job three months ago with it's unlimited drink supply, I've indulged in my soft drink consumption more than the water we also get for free.

From now on I'll be on a soft drink cold turkey and the fact that the thought of it makes me want to drink a can of fanta lemon to calm my nerves tells me I have a problem.

5. Day Diary

The final nail in this sinking ship of a situation comes from the fact that I've stopped writing and accomplishing my day to day tasks. I'm sacrificing preparing for the next day to get more sleep and then not completing all the things I need to and creating unnecessary anxiety about tasks that could've been done in a matter of seconds.

I'm taking the night to check out of the world and check in to my mental state with a journaling session and working from the inside out. Looking at these things I'll be making decisions on how to best resolve these issues to make sure nothing effects the other.

I can already tell you time management will be a big factor but there's only 24 hours in a day and as long as I'm not putting too much on my plate, that should be enough time to get everything done in a relaxed healthy manner.

I'll also be prioritizing the tasks and assignments I need to complete to ensure that I'm not spreading myself too thin.
I always try to remember that unless I take care of myself, physically, mentally and emotionally, I will not be able to perform to the ( realistic ) standards I set for myself. As long as I keep this in mind, I'm able to recognize when I need to take my foot of the pedal a little or all together.

How do you find your balance again after tripping up? 

Let me know in the comments!

Till next time

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2 comments so far

  1. Life is a balancing act. The time in college will prepare you for life and all of the things you have to balance there.

  2. I can literally relate to every single point here! I fell off for a while and I really need to get back into the habit of going to the gym but sleep has definitely been a priority for me recently! I neglected it for too long! Great post and great tips!
    Tisha x


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