Jumping back in!

Last semester (Spring) was my first semester of multiple classes. I’ve found grad school is wonderful when you’re only taking one intro class and your child isn’t mobile and sleeps most of the day. When it comes to doubling your course load at about the same time as your child starts walking, nay, running things get real.

Time management becomes essential. In addition to  waking getting up at o’dark early (it’s a real time, but most people haven’t heard of it)  and jumping into exercise, I found that my few uninterrupted hours in the early AM were not sufficient for all my school requirements. But when else did I have the time?

Whether you are a student at home parent, like me or working full time in addition to school, time management takes on a whole new meaning. Often I found that my time was being managed by others’ whims and the few things that I required were falling by the wayside. Enter stress and the whole gamut of bad things that can come from being tired, stressed and feeling the pressure. All from not being able to manage my time and set boundaries.

For me, I am lucky that I have a parent who lives with us. I just felt wrong asking said parent to watch the toddler while I caught up on schoolwork. Why? I felt selfish. When it finally got to be too much I did what I should have done weeks earlier-made an arrangement for me to prioritize school. Every day, just a few hours, I would retreat and do some schoolwork in another room . And it worked. I got caught up, my stress level dropped and everyone was happier. I had set a boundary in my house that this was a priority and I needed to have the time to do it well, and for that I needed support.

For me, it was as “easy” as asking for help, for others it may be a little more challenging. The main point is that grad school needs to be a priority. It’s not something you just let happen. You jumped through the hoops to get into graduate school. You took on the extra work and possibly extra debt to pursue your MLIS (or other graduate degree.) Why is it something you need to “fit in” rather than make a priority? It isn’t. It’s a priority, and you need to make it one. If you’re struggling through, analyze why. Is it the material? Are you overloading yourself with too many classes? Are you not making your school a priority? Why?

For 10 years I wanted to pursue this degree. Sure, this isn’t the way I envisioned it, but I am finally doing it. And that deserves respect in terms of prioritizing the work and effort.

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