How to Balance Your School and Work Schedules

How to Balance Your School and Work Schedules

How to Balance Your School and Work Schedules

You've got it all figured out. Massage is the career for you.

But the prospect of fitting school into your schedule when you work is so overwhelming. How do people do it? Read on for advice and inspiration to help you balance your busy life and become the massage therapist you know you are.

Determine Your Goals First. "I ask [students] to set some time aside to reflect on their goals before coming to school," says Elizabeth Halsey, dean of admissions at East West College in Portland, Oregon. She suggests taking 15 minutes to write down how important the goal of becoming a massage therapist is to you. Halsey claims this helps students access what may be "their core motivation for actually succeeding later."

Plan Your Time Carefully. Willow Ryan, a fourth-term massage student at the college, suggests waking up earlier. She gets up some mornings at 5:00 a.m. to take care of her daily tasks before going to school. In addition to attending massage school, Ryan teaches yoga and helps her husband fix up houses they sell for profit. She stresses creating a solid routine, even scheduling free time. Ryan has successfully created a routine that accommodates work, school and personal life.

Dean Halsey tells students to look at the hours needed to study throughout the week and each day and break it up. She passes this tactic on from Becoming a Master Student by Dave Ellis (, a book she discovered while earning her MBA while working 50 to 60 hours a week. Setting aside as little as six 10-minute increments in a day can help tremendously.

Make Sure You Have Support. It's important to have people in your life who will support you during difficult moments. Beyond that, you should reach out for support from your classmates and school resources. Ryan had what she calls a "study best friend" who helped her through her first few terms. She says your study-buddy should be someone "who is going through the same thing you are and needs to study the same thing that you need to study."

Find Time for Yourself. It's important to find activities that help you stay grounded. "Whether it's through gardening or meditation or running or yoga or whatever it is, [find something] that really helps take you away from the frustrations of work and school," Ryan says. This will help relieve stress so you can enjoy your time in school, she adds.

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