I am a full-time analyst in a corporate industry and full-time law student in a Philippine law school.
Definitely, juggling work and law studies is not the most recommended thing to do. However, for individuals like me, who self-support her studies and send her younger sibling to college, taking the full- time-student-only route is not an option.
Given that reality, I have no choice but to keep up with what is on my plate and deal with whatever difficulties I may encounter for doing two important and serious life matters at the same time.
To aid this, I have some hacks to take away some stress factors while I hurdle work and school.
Time management and self-discipline
Managing my time is one thing and disciplining my self is another.
I usually have a planner with me to know what are the things that I need to accomplish in a day.
Some people prefer a notebook planner, but for me I keep my day plans in my cellphone calendar.
In this way, since I am using my phone most of the time to read cases, I don’t need to spend another second of grabbing my notebook to see what is in store for me in a day. It really depends on one’s convenience. If notebook planning works for you, then no doubt go for it.
Here is a sample of my daily schedule:
Having this general time frame in mind makes my body clock at ease. At first, it was difficult to adhere, but later on as my mind and body got used to it, I felt like my body became automated to do whatever I intended to accomplish on a given time.
Trust me, there are and there will always be cheat days wherein you can’t help but do away with your schedule. And that is definitely okay.
In my case, I don’t have to be very hard on myself as long as from time to time I have to make sure that I go back to my daily plans. It is always a matter of self-discipline this time.
This is the first rule that I really have a hard time complying to.
Given my hectic schedule, I find it hard to keep healthy at all times. Like for instance, I do not have the luxury of time to cook for healthy food or look for restaurants which offer a healthy meal. I rarely do some actual exercise since my body strength gets deflated during weekends. During my personal time, sleep is my biggest go-to.
However, as I get older, I really see the need of exercise and healthy diet.
I already watch what I eat and make sure it is not always from a fast food. I also drink lots of water everyday to keep hydrated. If I cannot go on a jog, I just dance through music inside my room.
Yes, I crazily do dancing for the sake of healthy living.
Drinking too much coffee gave me a hard lesson. I was a heavy coffee-drinker to keep me awake at work, at school and while reading my cases and notes.
Sadly, I got hospitalized because of acid reflux for five days hence I was absent from school for a week.
From then on, I take at least one cup of coffee per day and even not drink coffee at all when getting sleepy is just manageable or my workloads are not that heavy.
Instead of coffee, I drink cold water, eat fruits or just stand up in between studying or working.
Standing up or walking around my work station helps me regain energy to complete work through the day.
Maintain and expand your network
Despite my complex schedule, I still try my very best to have some time for my friends and meet with new or old contacts.
Maintaining my network and getting along with people is important.
Firstly, when I talk to my friends outside work and law school, I temporarily forget my reading backlogs and work dues.
It feels so good to converse with and hear updates from those who talk about random life pleasures and struggles; not about Taxation rules or law amendments.
Secondly, expanding my network helps me in so many ways. It helps me understand the various perceptions of individuals and the different mechanisms that people practice to get through their daily feats.
Some of my acquaintances also give me tips on how to survive law school and work while excelling in both.
This should be my number one tip, but to save the best for last, I placed it as the fifth.
If I could just go back time when I was still 22 and just freshman in law school, I would have enjoyed more of my years.
I did have fun through partying and going out with classmates and workmates, but I felt like that was not enough to sufficiently satisfy my enjoyment cravings.
I succumb to studying and working that I had very limited time to go out.
Although, I do not really feel a sense of regret.
I would not have passed my school exams and performed well at work should I have focused on enjoying.
But still, it would have been more fun if I do well at work, school and enjoy more.
- I hope this blog can help and inspire my readers regardless of where they are from or whatever they do in life!
For Life and Law is also open to any article contribution which will potentially inspire others.