Time Management: Balancing your classes, finding a REAL job, looking for an APE

By: Sravya Gedela – Health Policy & Management

There are a lot of exciting things that happen during the fall semester. You start classes, meet some awesome professors and students and start your REAL job. It can get overwhelming very quickly, but I promise, if you manage your time well, you still have time for fun and will be able to explore fun stuff around Atlanta! 

When it comes to classes, I sincerely recommend looking at the syllabi as soon as they come out and note down all of the important dates for the semester in a planner. This includes exams, papers, and final project due dates. Our professors are really good at letting us know ahead of time when things are due, so take advantage of that! On Sundays, I usually look to see everything that I need to accomplish for classes over the next week, and then I write them down on the sticky notes on my laptop so that I can see them whenever I use the computer. Assignments are pretty similar each week, so you get into a routine pretty quickly; my week usually consisted of reading the next finance chapter, finishing your biostatistics homework, watching the policy videos, etc. If you’re anything like me and get bored really easily, I recommend doing a little bit of the assignments each day. This way, you finish everything you need to get done, but you also don’t go crazy and forget everything you learned. When I planned my week out like this, I was able to get all of my classwork done throughout the week and would have most of the weekend to do whatever I wanted. It was also less stressful when it came to the midterm season! 

REAL jobs can take up to 20 hours of your week, so it is definitely important to balance your time. Maintaining good communication with your boss will be critical in succeeding in your job and keeping up with all of your other responsibilities. They understand if you have midterms coming up and have to study, but they will not know about them unless you tell them. I had a week where I had 3 midterms and a final project due, so I told my boss ahead of time that I will not be able to work my usual hours during that week. I worked more hours the week before and then again the week after (this is when the planning ahead comes in handy). 

Grad school is definitely stressful, but the stress definitely decreases if you manage your time well and do not leave everything for the last minute. If you want more advice on how to balance everything, please don’t hesitate to reach out!