Five tips for school-work-life balance as a student

Many of us have probably talked about wanting the ability to manage professional, educational tasks and personal interests. However, experiencing stress and multiple workloads, maintaining a work life balance can be challenging.

January 4, 2024

By: Destiny (Fifth year, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour)

I struggled to achieve a school-work-life balance, which caused a lot of issues with my mental health and led to feeling burnout. I failed to make time to enjoy things outside of school and work. If you are seeking ways to manage your time, here are my five tips as student.

1. Understand your own capacity. Don’t take on more than you can handle.

There is a saying, “don’t pull more than your own weight,” which urges you to understand your own capacity. Take care of your well-being by figuring out how much work you can reasonably handle. As you begin to figure this out for yourself, try not to compare your capacity to others. Everyone is different. Only you can determine what works best for you. 

2. Create a balance between working and studying. 

The best way for me to balance working and studying is to prepare for the week ahead using a planner. I input all my classes, tutorials and schoolwork into a calendar or agenda. Any space left over, would be dedicated to free time. For instance, if you have an hour or two before class, you can use that time to have lunch. Just ensure all of your tasks are spread across the week. 

3. Prioritize your mental health and well-being.

Sometimes, we can get so consumed by our studies and work that we fail to make time to do other things. Your mental health should be a priority because if not, this will affect your performance and health. Taking care of your mental health can appear differently for everyone. How I choose to take care of my mental health is to sketch or watch a Netflix show. Make sure to include mental health breaks in your daily routine. 

4. Communicate with managers or supervisors if needed.  

For students who are working during their studies, remember you are still a student. If you need time off for whatever reason, make sure you communicate this effectively and in advance. Having a conversation with your managers or supervisors can ensure that they understand your situation and are able to accommodate. 

5. Take advantage of student services  

You can visit the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) if you need any accommodation for a test or assignment. Remember to review the qualifications for an accommodation and complete the necessary documentation beforehand. At the Student Wellness Centre (SWC), you can book one-to-one appointments to speak with a counsellor about your situation as well.   

Having a work life balance does not have to feel unachievable. As long as you create and follow a solid routine, you can find your own balance. I hope these few tips help you during this busy semester.