Managing seminary studies while working

Balancing life while getting your degree will include some trial and error, but you will begin to learn what works for you so that you can enjoy the journey along the way.

By Kimberley Proctor White, Admissions Associate

Raise your hand if you have ever said, “If I had the money, I would hire a secretary or a personal assistant.” Or maybe you have said, “If only there were just a few more hours in the day, I could (fill in the blank).” We’ve all been there, trying to juggle life, work, family, and all of the many obligations that require our time and attention. You may be saying that with all of the responsibilities that you have, how could you possibly add school to the mix? There is no magic formula to balancing school and work, but here are few ways that can make the load a little more manageable.

First, write the vision and make it plain. These words from Habbakuk 2:2 can be a starting point to really understand what it is that you’re passionate about, what you feel you’re called to do, and an opportunity to utilize your gifts and talents. Once you figure out what your goals are and the direction that you would like to take in life, write it down so that it will be a tangible reminder whenever you feel discouraged.

Second, utilize your time wisely. Designate certain days and times of the week that you will devote to certain areas of your life. Maybe there are specific days and hours that you can devote to reading your textbooks and take notes. Another day for homework, a day for preparing meals and cleaning your home, and a day to work a few hours later at your job so that you won’t fall behind. Take advantage of every opportunity that you have to work ahead on your school assignments, which is especially helpful around the holidays so that you can enjoy time with loved ones without the pressure of deadlines.

Third, ASK FOR HELP!! Going to school while working is going to have its challenges, so if there are ways that you can delegate responsibilities to others, then it will make things easier for you. Whether it’s asking someone at work to bring the coffee and donuts to the next meeting instead of you, asking family members to pitch in around the house, or scheduling time with your teachers or peers to help you with an assignment, there are resources available so that you are not overwhelmed.

And after you have written down your vision for the future, utilized your time wisely, and asked for help, a final bit of advice is to schedule time for yourself. Self-care is one of the most important, yet frequently forgotten gifts that we can give to ourselves. We will always feel as if no one else can get things done the way that we can, and sometimes we will even feel guilty for actually putting ourselves first. But remember your goal and use it as a reminder that in order for you to be successful in your seminary studies and actually graduate, then you must learn to take care of yourself. Find whatever it is that will help you destress and schedule a day or time to do it every day or at least once a week. Balancing life while getting your degree will include some trial and error, but you will begin to learn what works for you so that you can enjoy the journey along the way.

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