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What is the best way to maintain my career vision in college when I become overloaded by the workload?

I know many individuals who started strong in college but once the reality of the work to achieve their goals became known to them, they gave up on their dreams. I know that my desire to dual major in general surgery and as a general practitioner will require extensive discipline to maintain my desire in the midst of the strenuous course-load, but it there any advice for keeping my drive in the center of this course-load?
#medicine #desire #motivation #stress #college-courses

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Rachel’s Answer

In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>

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Jenni’s Answer

Kudos to you for setting your goals high! I applaud you and encourage you to follow your dreams. I think the most important advice I would give you from personal experience of balancing a full-time career, being a wife, mother, and part-time student myself is that you need to prioritize and make time for all of the key areas of your life. So, not only do you have to prioritize what's most important to you, such as your educational goals, but it's also equally as important to prioritize your mental/spiritual/physical well-being (whatever that looks like for you - as everyone is different). This means budgeting time every day / week / month for the things that you need to do to accomplish your goals, get the grades you want to achieve, and keep yourself healthy enough to persevere through the long haul. I imagine your healthcare-related career choices will require a lot of dedication to your studies, so you need to evaluate not only the time you need to get to class and participate in class, but also the time spent outside class (which is typically 3 hours for every unit). So, if you're taking a full course load, consider how much time you will need to devote to homework, reading, and studying outside of class. Then you'll need to consider your job, if you will be working alongside going to school. You need to decide how much time you can devote to and/or afford to (or not afford to) spend working while keeping up with your studies. If you're living at home or with family rent or relatively rent-free, this may not be an issue for you. But, if you eventually move out on your own, or with roommate(s), you'll need to not only budget your time but also understand what you are financially responsible for. Circling back to your mental/spiritual/physical well being - I can tell you most assuredly from personal experience that, similarly to maintaining a vehicle which requires occasional maintenance, you need to refresh, recharge and keep your engine running smoothly. That means getting enough sleep, maintaining healthy eating and levels of physical activity, and doing things that you enjoy such as hanging out with friends, working on projects or hobbies outside of work/school, spending time with family, etc. I strongly believe that if any one of these three areas are lacking (mind, body, spirit), it negatively impacts your ability to focus, stay motivated, etc. With that said, it's also important that you set REALISTIC expectations for yourself. Understand that "life happens" that may delay your goals or send you down a temporary path, and that's okay. Be flexible and learn to adapt and adjust your goals or your situation so you can meet the goals you already set. We cannot control 100% of what happens to us, but we can 100% control how we react/respond to it! You are empowered to stay strong and set your mind to achieving your goals, regardless of what obstacles come your way. Good luck to you! You CAN do it!

Jenni recommends the following next steps:

Set some short term goals for yourself (30-60-90 days)
Set some mid-range goals for yourself (6-12 months)
Set some long-term goals for yourself (1-3-5 years)
And......Adjust as needed!