A Balancing Act | The Road to Librarianship Pt. 1

It’s time for my monthly discussion of grad school aptly titled The Road to Librarianship! This is technically going to be my first post in this series so I wanted to spend time discussing how I manage my time in this one. It might be boring, it might be thrilling. Stay tuned!

The Work Week

My typical work week consists of working 40 hours in an office. Monday through Friday, I can be found at a desk on a base plugging away at my computer. I process a ton of paperwork, but there’s often downtime. During my downtime, I can be found reading articles for grad school (or even my textbook) but sometimes I manage to sneak in some pleasure reading time.

My boss is currently pretty awesome in that so long as you’re getting your work done, he doesn’t mind how you use your spare time (i.e. downtime waiting for more work!). Things are absolutely going to change because I did just get a promotion! I’ll definitely talk more about this after I take over my new role (likely in my next post in this series).

The School Week

My school week takes up a ton of extra time. Monday nights from 8-9:30, I log onto my computer to complete my synchronous work for the week for ONE of my classes. Synchronous work is, essentially, work completed alongside my classmates via video conference. It’s actually quite fun once you get over the initial weirdness. My other live synchronous session is on Thursday night from 8-9:30. In between these days, I work through my asynchronous (or video) material.

Homework (asynchronous work and assignments) for my Monday class is due Sunday evening – so 24 hours prior to my live session. Homework for my Thursday class is due on Thursday 1 hour before the live session starts. To avoid lateness, I work on my asynchronous material for Thursday on Tuesday after work. It might take me 2 hours to complete, but then I can focus on asynchronous work for Monday the next day. I tend to spend my weekends (sometimes a few hours on Saturday and Sunday both) working on additional assignments.

The one good thing about my classes is everything is clearly outlined, with due dates, in the syllabus and course schedule. Since I know what’s due and when, I work ahead on my assignments on the weekends that way I’m not stressing out during the week about written assignments.

If you want to know a little secret about how I stay ahead, let me fill you in… I keep a planner. As soon as I got my course schedules, I filled in my planner with every single assignment and asynchronous piece so I could check it off as I completed it. Nerdy? Probably. Have I turned anything in late? No.

A note: Until May 13th’s live session, I also was meeting with a classmate before each Monday class (and even a Thursday one) working on a group presentation. I got my grade – 99/100. Hard work pays off.

Life Balance

I don’t want you to think I’m all work, no play. Obviously I live my life too. I’ve managed to hit a few book sales and spend some time with my spouse over the course of the past 6 weeks. After work, I tend to cook dinner and hang out with my husband as I cook. After we eat, we watch an episode of a show and then I go read to the kids and tuck them in. Since my husband was also in class, I’d work on my work while he was at school so that we could spend our free time together with the kids. Now that his classes are over, he’s taking point on spending time I’m working with the kids so that we can have some time together after I finish my work.

I also still read every night before bed. It might only be a few chapters… but I’m not going to stop reading for fun. That’s a main aspect of my self-care routine. Obviously, a lot of my weekend time is spent with the children. I like to spend the few hours that they’re napping on weekends working on school and the rest of the time tidying up my house and playing with my sons.

Basically, my life is a balancing act. Sometimes school has to take point in my life, but a lot of my time is spent making sure my family is taken care of. It’s hard, but we’re making it work.

Honestly, if I didn’t have a solid support system around me, I don’t think I’d be able to juggle so well. Most importantly, in my opinion, is understanding when to step away. That’s why I read every night. It helps me relax my mind and take my thoughts away from my GPA. It’s hard work juggling three full time jobs, but I’m making it work.

Closing thoughts

To close, I said I was going to post these type of posts monthly. Instead I’m going to do a mid-term post and an end of term post for each of my six terms. It’s honestly overwhelming trying to juggle work, school, life, AND manage a booktube channel and blog. I’m still working on blog posts and booktube videos, I’m just finding it hard to manage time with my social media life. That’s why I’m not putting too much pressure on myself with these.

Let’s chat!

I keep a personal planner. I’m curious. Do you keep a planner? Is it digital? Do you use a bullet journal? How do you balance your life? Let’s talk about these questions in the comments!

Education MLIS The Road to Librarianship

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