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How can I develop or achieve a academic or dream career while also maintaining a sufficient social and personal life?

For instance, being able to take vacations, practice my hobbies, hang out with friends and family are all what I desire but I fear I won't be able to do any of that if I take the standard academic route and do a Masters program or go to graduate school for even longer.

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Subject: Career question for you

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PwC’s Answer

You can certainly do it all! I would recommend setting boundaries early even if it's hard! For example, even if your assignment isn't done perfectly, give yourself permission to step away and take care of yourself. There is definitely a balance between achievement and wellbeing but healthy habits early on will set you up for success in your academics, career, and social life.
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Mustafa’s Answer

A common misstep among students and young individuals is viewing situations as black and white. However, the world doesn't operate on such binary terms. There's a vast range between two polar opposites, a spectrum that becomes more apparent with life experience. But you don't need to personally experience everything to understand this misconception. You can learn from others' experiences, through observation and conversations.

You don't have to abandon social life to excel in academics or chase career aspirations. It's crucial to evaluate the time and energy invested in social activities. Ask yourself: How many friends are enough? How often should I take vacations? Can a hobby be turned into a career goal, allowing me to devote time and effort to both? How many hobbies should I have? Am I still engaged in the same hobby I had five years ago?

You don't have to isolate yourself to achieve academic excellence or pursue your dream career. But it's important to remember that family and friends are your companions in life, not the sole purpose of your existence. Soon, you may have your own family to care for, and it's essential to be ready on a personal, financial, and social level. Reflecting on these questions will offer the guidance and answers you seek.
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Fatima’s Answer

Hello Toni-Channel,

As someone who has had to work while in college and is now in a demanding career, I would recommend that you start practicing self-care routines now. Find great time-managing strategies that work for you now and plan time for friends, vacations, hobbies, etc. The key is to create realistic routines and habits. Whichever path you choose, life always gets busy. It is up to you how you prioritize. I would move forward with the career that you are passionate about and pursue that pathway if it's a traditional or non-traditional pathway.
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Sofia’s Answer

Balancing school and a social life can be a challenging task and was something that I struggled with during my college years as a science major. However, the key to overcoming this is to prioritize each aspect of your life, a strategy I adopted after college while pursuing my UX designer course. I made academics my primary focus and created a weekday schedule to keep me on track.

One of my personal passions is going to the gym, a form of self-care that I truly enjoy. I set a goal to complete this activity early in the morning. It's crucial to prioritize your personal goals and hobbies, as they play a significant role in your academic and career success.

When it comes to socializing, I try to reserve my weekends for this, giving me something to look forward to after a week of concentrated academic work. Occasionally, I would go out on weekdays, depending on how manageable my workload was. One vital lesson I've learned is the importance of saying no. Constantly agreeing to friends and family can lead to burnout which can hinder your ability to complete your academic tasks. I've found that my family and friends have been understanding of my career and academic goals. One good tip is to message your friends and family in your downtime to ask how they are doing. It's a short and sincere message that doesn't need to be long but shows that you're thinking of them even though you might not be hanging out with them all the time.

Finding a schedule that suits you takes time and involves a lot of trial and error. It took me about two months to establish a routine that worked for me. Given that academics appear to be your top priority, focus on that first, and then build a schedule that suits you from there. Wishing you all the best!
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Anna’s Answer

Make sure you research the company you're going to be applying/working for. My company cares a lot about work/life balance and generous with time off options. Also, be a planner! Once you're a professional, it will be more important to plan ahead. I have learned to space out my time off whether I have something in mind for how to use the time or not. Also, your schedule isn't always ideal when you start new with a company but it's important to weigh the pros and cons of a schedule outside of the hours you may have wanted. Don't lose a good opportunity because you don't like the schedule. My schedule has changed several times and once I adapt to it, I always make the best of the time and focus on the positives of what that schedule will allow me to do. Make sure there is opportunity in the future for time off balances to grow, possibilities of getting a better schedule and you will adapt. If you enjoy what you're doing, you want it to work, if your do your job well, your employer will be flexible.
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ShaRon’s Answer

Toni-Chanelle,

I commend you for thinking about how things will work as you try to balance your educational pursuits and the rest of your life! The key to what you are thinking about is TIME MANAGEMENT! It is possible to have all the desires of your heart, BUT you will be required to prioritize all the moving pieces to ensure you focus is on the right thing at the right time.

In order to be successful in college, you need to allocate the right amount of time to studying. However, if you fail to nurture your hobbies and other interest, you will not enjoy the experience and probably burn out. College is a time to explore and discover WHO YOU ARE/WANT TO BE! So it is important that you socialize, join groups, try new things and get to know who Toni-Chanelle is.

I got really good at using a calendar and scheduling time for things that were important to me. I had classes in the morning 8 - 12, so most afternoons I blocked 2 - 5PM for study time. I took a break from dinner and to unwind and studying again from 7 - 9:30PM. I tracked my exams and major papers/projects on the same calendar and set time aside to work on those so I was prepared. The discipline allowed me to plan activities with my friends and even work a part time job on weekends and nights. I joined clubs, went to sporting events and cultivated great relationships in the process as well.

Upon graduation, I went to work full time and after a few years off, I got married and then went back to graduate school - which my employer paid for. I traveled, got active in my community and church as well. My ability to manage my time helped establish a discipline that has continued to assist me throughout my career. The key for me was IF something was important to me, I found a way to make it happen.

Your desires are not out of reach, you just have to plan and prioritize. The class syllabus is a great tool, use it to help keep you on track and when you can, get ahead. It will make you life easier. Good Luck!
ShaRon
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Samuel’s Answer

Discipline and planning a routine. You would be surprised what you can do! It is so easy to say "I don't have time to do what I love because I'm working!" Pace yourself and know it's not good if you didn't do that hobby or see that friend. As you probably know, at the time you may want to say " I don't wanna." But usually you say "Wow, I didn't want to do this but I'm now glad I did." It can also help to socialize with people in the same field or hobbies close to what you do professionally. The latter isn't always the case and that's just as cool, if not better.
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Muhammad’s Answer

Be loyal to your goals and learn to say 'no' when needed. Participate in social activities as per your schedule.
Balancing academics and social life while practicing saying no involves setting clear priorities, managing your time effectively, and communicating openly. Create a study schedule that allocates time for both academics and social activities. When asked to participate in something that conflicts with your schedule, politely decline by explaining your commitments (sometimes you may have to be rude depending upon the situation or person). Remember that it's okay to say no when necessary to maintain balance and achieve your goals.
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Alan’s Answer

Toni-Chanelle, it's a great question. Not only can you try, you really kind of have to. Our society is very good at burning people out. You need to be well-rounded, happy and healthy. You need friends, family and a support system, you need enjoyment, relaxation and other interests, you also need sleep, exercise and good nutrition. Is that all easy... no, of course not. It will take really good time management and organizational skills, skills that are taught in classes and online. You're entitled to a life, as long as you don't short-cut your studies to overindulge in it. You'll see how many classes you can handle at once, given whatever timetable you might be on. You'll also see how well you are managing and what sacrifices might become necessary. Just take things one step at a time. You can't project what post-graduate work will be like from where you're sitting now. The fact that you're asking this shows you're serious. Don't do yourself harm in pursuit of your future, and don't harm your future by doing it injustice. It's all about balance.
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Keyston’s Answer

Finding a balance between pursuing an academic or dream career and maintaining a fulfilling personal life can be a challenge, but it's definitely possible. One approach is to create a clear plan that allocates time for both your career aspirations and personal interests. It might involve setting specific boundaries for work hours and dedicating quality time to hobbies, vacations, and loved ones. Exploring alternative education paths, like online courses or part-time study, can also help you manage your time effectively. Remember, it's about prioritizing what truly matters to you and being flexible in your approach to achieve both your professional and personal goals.
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Nida’s Answer

In simple terms, the key to success lies in prioritizing activities and having schedule discipline. When you're juggling multiple tasks, it's crucial to assess which one will yield the most benefit and bring the most value.

I recommend you delve into Stephen Covey's masterpiece, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." This book offers valuable resources such as a matrix for prioritization and time management. My team of career experts regularly use this tool, even after reaching their desired level of success.

The matrix is divided into four quadrants:
Quadrant 1 is for tasks that are urgent and important
Quadrant 2 for those that are urgent but not important
Quadrant 3 for important but not urgent tasks
Quadrant 4 for tasks that are neither urgent nor important.

You can use this matrix to plan your week, balancing your responsibilities with leisure activities. It's important to associate fun to learning, but do not let it set you off balance. The fun activities are a supplement to your learning experience and should never come at the expense of it. Best of luck!
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PwC’s Answer

This is a great question and being able to manage both sides of your life is a really useful life tool. I believe the most useful but of I ever got was planning everything out ahead of time to help balance what time you would allocate to both facets and protruding both respective to what is more important in that exact moment. It could be as simple as using notes to plan out the week ahead. Hope that helps.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Toni-Chanelle !

You can probably do all that you've mentioned once you are in your dream career, but not while going to school. The things you've mentioned cost money and so does college, so there are always sacrifices we make during our college years so that we can be up to date with tuition, buy our books and equipment, afford transportation and all of the other expenses. Your social life is completely your decision and so is your academic choice and profession.

I sense that you are more concerned with the social aspects and this may not currently be a time that you want to dedicate to college and that is okay, too. Think about it more and if you can confidently say that going for a degree later in life is okay with you, than do that.

If you do attend college, let me ease your worries about a few things. Everyone has a social life in college. You will definitely be able to socialize with friends and family. Depending on how expensive your hobbies are, you may be able to also engage in them too. After you enroll in college, your social life does not come to a halt, but there are some things, like vacations, that unless someone else is paying for them, you will have to slow down on. It is a matter of deciding what is more important to you right now. Going to college will prepare you for your future. Continuing to live as you are now will delay it but will be comfortable and fun for now.

Maybe you should enroll in just one course at college to begin with. See if you like the life on campus, studying, doing projects, etc. Than ask yourself how you feel doing it full time. Just know that if you have a degree, it will give you an edge and that will bring you closer to a dream job.

I wish you all the best in your decisions !
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