The Delicate Balancing Act
Currently, as I try to write this blog post, I have a Chihuahua under my feet and a 7-year-old leaning against my arm. One term into my journey to become a nurse practitioner and I’ve already had moments thinking, What did I get myself into? and, What was I thinking? Balance is not easy. Coffee has become my best friend. But a balance for dealing with school, family and life is achievable, and I have found the following to be helpful in achieving my symmetry.
When dealing with school, it helps to be organized. I try to have one space designated for studying that is clutter-free. Though not much in my life can be classified this way, it helps to eliminate distractions when studying. I make sure I have a visual of due dates and reading assignments, and I highlight my calendar in different colors. I never leave the house without a book in my hand. Even at work or a soccer game, there is always down time to read a few pages.
It may sound odd, but I try to keep my family involved with my school work. I set goals and post them where everyone can see them. If I hit those goals, I reward everyone! Go get that Slurpee or have a movie date at the $1 theatre! Rewards tend to fare well with little kids. When you tell them, “I have to finish this and then...” they tend to give you those few, precious minutes you need. To save time, I pre-make our dinners and freeze them- the crockpot will be your friend. Take a few hours on Sunday and prepare meals for the entire week. Above all… make sure you have healthy snacks on hand to avoid that ‘freshman 15’ again.
Remember you are part of keeping that balance: Make ‘me time.’ Exercise while listening to the lecture recording. Take a bubble bath and brain storm essay ideas. And sometimes I need to step away from it all for a day and just re-collect myself.
You can achieve balance while in school. Take a deep breath. Remember there are lots of us on this fun journey too. A little preparation and organization can go a long way.