Balancing life, school, work

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 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

School takes sacrifice, discipline, student says.

By Danny Geraldo Martinez

Balancing work, school, family and a social life can be a challenge for any student. The thought of juggling all of these demands may seem overwhelming at times, but it’s a necessity for every student, said adviser Stephanie C. Williams.

Social work sophomore Margie Garcia plans ahead to balance school with work. One class away from receiving her associate degree in social work, Garcia is a full-time employee at H-E-B.

“The key to making it all work is prioritizing and time management,” she said. “Once school starts, my work schedule gets made in advance so I can plan accordingly.”

Growing up in a rough neighborhood, Garcia knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of clinical social assistance.

“I believe you should do something that you’re passionate about, and I truly feel I want to make a difference one person at a time,” she said. “We are living in tough times; social workers are needed to help people get their lives back on track.”

The academic advisers in Moody Learning Center can lend a helping hand to students facing the pressures of juggling school and work life.

Williams, who works in this college’s counseling and advising center, understands this frustration and knows what it takes for students to develop a healthy school and life balance.

“Fifty percent of our student population are non-traditional students. Many have to work and many have families,” Williams said. “You must be serious and realistic about anything that you do because we all know we have responsibilities in and out of school. It’s all about finding that balance.”

So how do students find the balance? According to, students should create a personal day planner. This should be an hour-by-hour schedule that includes classes, work hours and other daily activities. Students should also schedule some time for themselves. This includes a chance to socialize, watch movies, read books, catch up on sleep, whatever it takes to help keep them from getting overwhelmed.

“You have to discipline yourself,” Garcia said. “If not, then why go to school if you’re not prepared to focus and sacrifice your free time toward your goals and aspirations?”


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