I just started my first grad school class along with working full-time. Come fall, I will be a student full-time with a field practicum 16 hours/week AND working part-time. Does anyone have tips on fitting everything into my schedule? Where should my priorities be? Healthy eating and exercising? Resting? Some days will go from 8 AM until 10:30 PM. I'm barely sure I'll be able to keep up with my life in general! Any thoughts or suggestions? Please add me if you have done this or are/will be dealing with the same issue!


  • dancinqueen91
    dancinqueen91 Posts: 20 Member
    I just finished grad school and had a similar situation. I actually lost weight during the year (perhaps partly due to stress)! I made exercising and healthy eating a priority, more so than if I had a ton of free time. Now that I have more free time, I always tell myself I can "do it later." I felt that since I was so busy, I had to make it count when I had time. I scheduled work outs on my calendar, found people to keep me accountable, and made sure to stock my kitchen with healthy snacks. I have a Fitbit which was a big motivation - I would take short walks outside just to get some fresh air. The biggest help for me was to have "me time" and that time was exercising. I needed my "me time" so I didn't get too bogged down with everything going on! Good luck!
  • You could try doing meal prep at the beginning of your week. Like, prepare meals for a whole week in advance in little tupperware thingies. That might make things easier for ya!
  • Thanks guys! I really appreciate the tips and motivation! I have about a month and half to prepare for my hectic schedule so I'm trying to think ahead!
  • 87Djones
    87Djones Posts: 145 Member
    I would suggest focusing on a healthy eating lifestyle first along with rest. Once you start as a full time student again in fall wait to see how your body feel after a week prior to adding an exercise routine. You will have a better understanding what time will work best for you without burning out.
  • ZBuffBod
    ZBuffBod Posts: 297 Member
    I am in the dissertation phase of my doctorate and work full-time (although working from home makes balancing things a little easier). Right now my only form of exercise is walking. I have a 14 year old that I have to chauffeur everywhere (LOL) and add to that I am very active in my church. Phew!

    Here are suggestions based on what works for me. I suggest you plan meals ahead because when you are under the gun with studying and assignment deadlines, you will tend to eat whatever and derail your healthy eating plan. Take walking/exercise breaks throughout the day. Do you have an hour between classes? 30 minutes? 15 minutes? Go for a walk. As long as you are moving, that should count. It doesn't have to be a formal exercise plan.

    From experience, if you do not eat right and do some form of exercise, you will end up with what I call fuzzy brain. Make sure you include enough balance of proteins, etc. to feed your brain. I promise this makes a world of difference...eating the right types of foods versus binging on junk. Also, start out with incorporating the exercise plan you will implement. It is much more difficult to try to fit things in after you have started a routine. Experience is my teacher here! Best of wishes on your health and educational journeys.
  • dancinqueen91
    dancinqueen91 Posts: 20 Member
    ^^ Completely agree with ZBuffBod. I had to study for a professional exam for months and staying healthy was the only way to keep my sanity and focus on studying effectively and efficiently.
  • writergeek313
    writergeek313 Posts: 390 Member
    Before the school year starts, you might try to stock your freezer with single servings of things like soups, stews, chili, spaghetti sauce, and other things that freeze well. Look for sales on lean proteins that you like. When I can get a sale on chicken, I'll often grill a bunch of it to freeze or make something like chicken tacos. Homemade turkey or chicken burgers freeze well, as do meatballs and little meatloaves made in muffin pans. When I freeze things, I write serving size and nutrition info on the label.

    I'm a college professor, and during the school year I do meal prep almost every Sunday. My weeks are often really unpredictable, and even on days when I don't teach I often don't have as much time to cook as I'd like. Having a variety of healthy options at home means I'm a lot less likely to get takeout or a frozen pizza after work. Every now and then I'll have a lot of grading to do or will be away for the weekend. Those are the weeks when I go into the freezer for healthy options.

    Making meal prep a habit will mean one less thing you have to think about/worry about during your really busy weeks! I also find a healthy, home-cooked meal to be comforting, especially during really stressful weeks.