Finding Balance as a Graduate Student

A blog post from SOLES MA in Higher Education Leadership Ambassador, Novien Yarber:
As you may or may not know, graduate school is an entirely different dynamic than that of undergraduate studies. Grad school, more particularly within the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, demands not only more of you but a different and more mature/reflective you. As a graduate student in this program you will be challenged to understand and unpack all aspects of your being—who you are, why you are the way you are, and what you do with that awareness of self.  Not only does the work of graduate studies get arduous, life is still happening and you must learn how to find balance so that you are getting through your graduate career both successfully and healthily. As I too am on my quest for healthy balance I will share a few tidbits that have helped me along the way.

  1. Find community; having people to debrief with and bounce ideas off of is imperative to your growth and sanity. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about your studies with family and friends because they may not get it, but you’re fortunate to have SOLES’ welcoming community as support.
  2. Find your space; it’s quite appropriate that I’m writing this blog while in one of my favorite beach spots. San Diego has a plethora of restaurants/cafés/quiet spots that are great places for you to read, study, and decompress. To keep it fresh I switch my spots often (i.e. Café Bassam- Balboa Park, The Living Room- La Jolla, Lestats-Hillcrest, Halycon- Gaslamp). Go explore the wonderful city and find your spot!
  3. Find time to reflect outside of the course assignments; you will be prompted to do a lot of reflection within your courses but the true “A-HA” moments derive from when you’re left to reflect on your own time. Don’t let the work stop once you leave the classroom.
  4. Listen to your body, don’t force it; it’s safe to assume that you are somewhat of an overachiever—I mean, if you’re at this point of your educational career you have to have some sort of drive that makes you want to do and be more. With that being said, you have to recognize that you can’t do it all and do if you do it all it won’t be perfect. Sometimes you must take a break to practice some self-care—for all you over-achievers, self-care is being productive, as you can’t successfully do your studies on an empty tank!

I hope this post provides some sort of comfort as you enter/continue your studies here at USD. Take it all in stride and learn all you can!
HAPPY STUDIES!!

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