Wake up. Work. Go to class. Leave campus. Run errands. Get home. Do chores. Sleep. Wake up– and do it all again.
That was my life during the Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 semesters. Not only do I work at the Graduate School as the Director of Student Records, I’m also a part time student in our very own MPA program, and I got married at the end of the Spring semester on May 30.
The lives of graduate students can be complicated. In addition to going to school, many of us work full time, have families, have more than one job, or responsibilities to other people– with big life events to boot! And we have to find the time (and learn to manage it) to study and keep our grades up in addition to everything else. Our lives can turn into juggling acts that should surely qualify us to be in one of the rings for the circus!
The hardest thing to do was remembering what I had to do in each role. My job didn’t wait for school, school didn’t wait for all of the responsibilities that come with pulling together an event as big and a wedding. And did anyone remember to call the caterer?!
I kept lists. A lot of lists. Reminders on my work calender and PDA. Emails to myself. Emails to people helping to remind me of my “goals of the week,” and keep me on task (thank you Mom). Wedding planning spanned three spreadsheets. It helped that I was marrying someone who was willing to step in and steer the ship when things became too much, or that paper was proving hard to write.
The most important thing that you can remember is to ask for help, and accept it when it is offered. And breathe. Breathe in, breathe out. It’ll be ok– even if the napkins don’t exactly match the dresses, or page 10 of that paper was a little shorter than it could have been, and the conclusion a little less wordy.
And don’t forget to stop and enjoy life. Just keep that PDA handy and take that fascinating book on networks and organizations to the beach!