Imagine you’re a parent to three children, a full-time financial analyst, and the president of two non-profits. You also have to make time for being on the board of two other non-profits, too. Does this seem like the time to throw in being a student at University of Phoenix?
Tracy Hernandez knew it wouldn’t be simple to get her two degrees in business administration and health administration. It’s a good thing she’s not the kind of person to shy away from a challenge. If you’re thinking of going to college but unsure how you’ll fit everything in, Hernandez is happy to share her story.
Don’t Jump In
Instead of signing up for full-time classes after a burst of inspiration, take some time to explore the university’s website or stop by the campus instead. You’re still taking steps in the right direction, but you’ll be more prepared for what’s ahead. Hernandez noticed immediately that she had to rethink her entire definition of college in light of new technologies.
Talk It Over
You can’t schedule all of your life, but there are ways to manage your time and the expectations of others. From her employer to her three children, there were people in Hernandez’s life that counted on her. She had to be firm about her needs while still respecting their needs, too. One thing that helped her was carving out blocks of time and explaining that those would be her hours to work on her schoolwork..and when she would be unavailable to others.
Take Advantage of Technology
Scheduling apps are everywhere these days. Whether you’re balancing your work hours against classes or charting a new project, Hernandez recommends taking advantage of technology like Asana or Google Calendar. She was able to coordinate her own time while ensuring it didn’t conflict with someone else’s schedule. That’s no easy feat when you’re juggling countless responsibilities.
How can you find free time when you’re doing so much? Believe it or not, Hernandez does have a few idle moments — even if they’re not in abundance. She’s learned to keep her computer with her so that she can tackle a task or two when free time unexpectedly pops up. Being flexible and creative has allowed her to get more done, and she’s learned to appreciate the unexpected so she can go with the flow and make the most of her time.
The Real Art of Balancing
Every student at University of Phoenix has their own story, one that can only be told through their eyes. It may seem like Hernandez has unrealistic expectations for herself, but the truth is that she’s learned from her mistakes and created a life that she can be proud of even when things were difficult or stressful.
If you’re considering a similar move, remember that it is possible no matter how impossible it may seem at first. Take it from Hernandez: while it might not be easy, it is absolutely worth it.
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