Example Of Essay On Achieving Balance
72% of students in the United States were employed while enrolled, and 7% of them worked 35 or more hours per week according to a Current Population Survey done by the US Department of Commerce in 2012 (“The Condition of Education: Characteristics of Postsecondary Students”). The writer belongs to this demographic because aside from taking her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, she also holds a full-time job. In addition, the writer belongs to the demographic of married students, which also comprise 7% of the student population (“Married College Students”). The numbers look small but they may also be growing, and while it is wonderful to see perseverance from these students, a primary problem arises: how do these students balance their time? Students with multiple commitments can manage their time for work, school, and family by setting a schedule and following it, involving relevant people in this schedule, and anticipating conflicts.
First, the most crucial piece of advice anyone could offer to a multi-tasking student is to set a schedule and, more importantly, follow it. It is very important to note that it is not enough to just set a schedule; a student also needs to be disciplined in following it. For example, in the writer’s case, since she takes an hour to get to work every day, she needs to follow a routine that allows time for taking care of her husband and doing academic work at home. With regard to allotting time for academics, Nancy Bailey, a counselor at Dakota County Technical College, said that students should “budget two hours of study time for every hour of in-class time” (as cited in Crotti, 2009). This means that students with multiple responsibilities need to be able to budget their time in order to be able to allow sufficient time to do school work. More importantly, this entails strictly following this set schedule, and success primarily lies in this factor.
Second, a student needs to involve relevant people in his schedules and routines. A student with a set schedule who is determined to follow it may still find it hard to do so without the involvement of his family and work superior. According to an article from the website of John Hopkins Student Assistance Program (JHSAP), a student should inform everyone who needs to know his schedule to avoid getting disturbed during trying moments (“School-Life Balance”). Informing relevant people also prevents conflicts. For example, if the student absolutely needs to leave work early to finish a paper, there would be a better chance of being allowed if his boss is aware of his schedule. Similarly, at home, a student can delegate some of her tasks to her husband or children if she needs to meet a deadline. The same situation can also occur at school. Although deadlines are much stricter at school, a teacher who is aware of a student’s responsibilities may give him a deadline extension if needed. The main point is that there would be smoother communication between the student and the persons affected if they had been involved in the student’s plans and schedules, and this will also prevent some conflicts from occurring.
But a wise student with multiple demands to address should also expect conflicts to arise every now and then; there are times when dates for deadlines, obligations, and events just cross. For example, even with schedule and support, it is still very possible that a student’s final exams will coincide with her daughter’s graduation. There are also some times when emergencies such as a burglary at the workplace. Since they are bound to happen, the best way to handle conflicts is to anticipate them and prepare for them. First, when one has already a full plate, it is best if he says no to more responsibilities. This will allow the student to focus on his priorities. Next, unless it is an emergency, during the moment of conflict, it is suggested that the student should stay where she is and focus on the task at hand, finishing it before proceeding to handle the other situation (“School-Life Balance”). Finally, if one of the commitments becomes more stressful, like a family member getting sick or an unexpected promotion at work, the student should consider getting a lighter course load for the semester (Dittmann, 2005). The student needs to understand that she is only human and that sometimes, in order to succeed, she needs to prioritize some tasks, delegate others, and forego a few during moments of conflict. By anticipating that conflicts will happen, the student can gain a better sense of balance in her life.
Overall, while the sense of commitment is admirable, it is also undeniable that handling multiple sets of responsibilities is hard on a student. Having multiple commitments entails a strong sense of management, and in order to achieve much needed balance, a student needs to be able to set a schedule and follow it, involve the ones affected by his decisions, and anticipate conflicts that are bound to happen. Through these, a student will likely succeed at work, in school, and with his family life.
List of References
Crotti, N. (2009, April 9). Balancing Work, School And Family. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/jobs/healthcare/42336602.html
Dittmann, M. (2005, March 1). Striking a Balance. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2005/03/cover-balance.aspx
Married College Students. (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2015, from http://www.campusexplorer.com/college-advice-tips/CF0064F6/Married-College-Students/
The Condition of Education: Characteristics of Postsecondary Students. (2014, May 1). Retrieved March 4, 2015, from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_csb.asp