A Day in the Life of an iSchool Student

iStudent Blog

PublishedApril 6, 2018

Get a glimpse into what life is like balancing work and other responsibilities with your studies.

smiling_student.jpgAre you worried you won’t be able to keep up with the demands of work, life, family and now school? Are you a current student struggling to get your course work done on time alongside cooking dinner, walking the dog and showing up to your day job? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! We all have responsibilities other than school and it can be a serious juggling act at times. But it is totally doable, and at the end of it, you’ll have a qualification to be proud of that could change your life.

My predecessor at the iStudent Blog, Allison Randall Gatt, started a series in which she looked inside the lives of iSchool students to show we’re all in this together. She kicked off the series with a peek into her own life, so I thought I’d bring it back with a post about a typical day in my life (that’s not me in the photo by the way!). I took seven units this semester including a two-unit internship and one unit serving as a copy editor for the School of Information Student Research Journal. I’m also a part-time student assistant (writing for this blog). In past semesters I’ve taken nine units while working full time, relying heavily on my husband to cook and make sure I had clean clothes!

Here’s a glance into an average day in my life as a grad student at the School of Information:

6 am: The first thing I do is enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee while I check my email on my phone (I’ll continue to check throughout the day to stay up-to-date with everything). After having breakfast and getting ready, I usually take this time to get some dishes and laundry done.istudent_dog.jpg

8-11 am: For the first part of the day my dog keeps me company while I do my school work whether that’s reading, watching lectures, completing an assignment or writing a discussion post. I have a big whiteboard that shows all of my classes and when each assignment is due to help me prioritize. I find listening to classical music helps me concentrate. 

11 am-12 pm: I grab a quick bite to eat (usually leftovers) and drive downtown to my internship site.

12-3 pm: On Tuesday afternoons and all day Wednesday I intern at an art library. When I’m not doing my internship, I’ll continue doing school work or switch to working on the blog.

4-7 pm: My husband usually gets home around 4 pm and we like to take the dog out for a long walk and tell each other about our day. 

7-10 pm: After dinner, I’ll spend one to three hours working on articles for this blog which involves doing research, sourcing or creating images, reaching out to people to set-up interviews and the actual writing/editing part, of course. I love that the hours are flexible and I can work from home. I try to keep a couple of evenings free to go to an exercise class or relax with friends and family.

There’s a lot to keep track of, so I’m constantly writing and rewriting to-do lists. I use the reminders and notes app on my phone to know what my priorities are for each week and also map out what I need to get done each day. I try my best to take at least one full day off a week, but I might end up doing an hour or two of blog work or finishing up an assignment on the weekends. Sometimes, I feel like I’m constantly working, but I just have to remind myself that it’s temporary and at some point in the future I’ll miss being a student! I’m curious about how other students manage their time; get in touch if you’d like to be featured in a future day in the life post.

Image: Student by CollegeDegrees360/CC 2.0

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