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Have A Full Plate This Summer?

A current Purchase student shares strategies on successfully managing her intensive coursework while working full time.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with a current Purchase student who enrolled in a Winter course and did very well. She is in the process of deciding which Summer courses to take. To my surprise, she has also been working full time. I then asked if she could share some tips and strategies on managing such a full plate successfully.

Q: What was it like for you to have a full-time workload and to take an intensive course in the meantime? How did you manage your time?

A: I review my week and everything that I have going on. I know when my assignment due dates are going to be, so I make sure to have available time to work on those assignments at specific times on specific days. I’m constantly reviewing my work schedule and class syllabuses. I also tend to repeat in my mind what I need to get done until it’s actually done. Sometimes I’ll make a to do list according to urgency. Category A will have everything that needs to get done by the end of that day. Category B will be everything that has to get done within the next couple of days. Category C will be anything that has to get done by the end of the week. My three top priorities are my dog, school, and work. As long as those three are being taken care of, then I’m good. 

Q: What do you do when you get a chance to relax?

A: Making sure to set time for yourself is also very important. It could be just enjoying a movie or TV show, going out with a friend, walking your dog, or whatever it may be. That time alone with you is very much needed.

Q: What are your best practices when working with your professor?

A: Communication with the professor is also crucial to make sure you’re getting any clarification needed, any additional help, or even so that they’re aware of anything going on in your life. Any type of successful relationship requires communication. Communication is also a two-way street, so both the student and professor have responsibilities, which should be geared towards not only learning the material, but also setting you up for success with proper preparation. Professors are not to be feared or avoided. They are not your enemy. They are there to help! 

Q: Any other tips you can share with our summer students?

A: It’s just prioritizing and managing your time. It’s also taking control of your own life and accepting responsibility for it. At this point, every decision you make is on you! It’s really whether you’re going to let things break you or make you. It’s your time to shine; show your strength and what you are made of!