Balancing responsibilities in graduate school is a skill that takes multiple tries and refinements. The most important aspect of ensuring that school does not get in the way of life and vice versa is structuring your time. Having a clear understanding of what your busiest weeks are and planning ahead are two tips you’ve heard over and over again! It is true, you have to remember key dates and, based on your own study habits, block off the time you need to prepare for exams and competencies.
While studying and preparing for examinations are crucial in your path to succeeding in optometry school, life is not on pause. Attend the weddings, celebrations, gatherings and festivities as they are often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bond with and celebrate your loved ones. Missing out on such special moments can lead to feelings of guilt and become a source of avoidable, added stress. It is also important to note that you don’t have to wait for the large ceremonies and events! You can take breaks by watching your favorite shows, getting dinner with friends, or even simply going on long walks. While it may seem like you are losing productive time, you are taking the right steps to reenergize and fuel your focus once you get back to your desk.
It is certainly easier said than done. However, once you have a strong grasp of your own habits, you can strategize what parts of your day you can save time on. For example, if you find yourself scrolling through your phone for six hours a day, you can find ways to limit your screen time and spend it alongside the people you love. Overall, you must know your own schedule and habits and do the best you can to balance it all! And remember, it will always be a work in progress that you can fine-tune along the way.