One of the biggest struggles of grad school, in my opinion, is trying to find time for yourself. When I first started school, I was very worried that I would be constantly studying and never have any time to do what I wanted to do. While many people might suggest staying up late to gain extra hours, I choose to handle this in a different way—a way where you can study, get good grades, do the hobbies and activities you enjoy, and still get at least eight hours of sleep a night. REM cycles are very important, after all!
When I started this journey of academic enrichment, I was given an off-handed comment that turned out to be the greatest advice anyone has probably ever given me—treat school like a full-time job! This means go to class, study, and do school from 8-5 or 9-6 every day, as if this was your job. Between those hours is the time for you to get all of your work done. Most classes will fall in between those times, and you will have time outside of class to study and get your work done. That way when 5 or 6 rolls around, you are done for the day, feel accomplished, and have the rest of the evening to yourself. Sure, waking up that early every morning means, if you’re like me, bedtime is around 10 or 11. But who wants to be a night owl anymore?
So let’s say it’s after 6:00, and you are wondering what I am doing. If it is a weeknight, chances are you will find me in my apartment building, up to no good. In reality, I am most likely either watching some new television show I am hooked on or eating. Probably a combination of the two. I have recently thrown myself into ellipticizing (or doing the elliptical if you are a normal person), so some nights you may find me in my apartment building doing that while listening to whatever book on tape I am currently engrossed in.
Okay, we get it David, you live a pretty boring life during the week—what do you do on the weekends? There are three main things you will find me doing on the weekends (if I’m not studying, because that does happen) and it does not involve me going out to the local establishments (yes I am usually still in bed by 11 even on the weekends, Mom!). The first thing you will find me doing is playing basketball. I am on the law school’s basketball team, and we typically have practices on the weekends. Every year we go to a tournament where we play against other law schools, so we must prepare accordingly. I’m also on an intramural team, which we typically play during the week, so I guess I’m not completely boring on the week nights. During the weekends you will also catch me going to church—I try to make it every Sunday. But the most exciting thing I do? I’m in a band, of course. I am the lead singer and piano player for “The Sexy Deck of Cards” and let me tell you, we rock. Don’t believe me? Check out one of our recorded performances. We are missing two members in said video, but you can see just how awesome we really are. And that beard you see me sporting only took five months to grow. We practice at least once a week on Fridays, and we do birthdays and weddings if you need us.
So this blog was kind of all over the place, but hopefully you get the gist of it. There are ways to make sure you get all of your work done and still have a life outside of school. Treating school like a job is the way that I found works best for me, but it might not work for everyone. A lot of my friends at school don’t even get started on homework until around midnight, but let’s face it, I don’t even know what midnight feels like anymore. My main advice to take away from all of this? Just be yourself and show everyone who’s boss!