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Balancing Your Life: 5 Keys to Lifestyle Stability While Earning Your Degree

School is back in session, and with it comes the stress of balancing your academic, social, and work lives. Read on for some tips to help you get your zen on.

According to a recent Pew Center Research report, degree holders enjoy higher annual earnings, a lower unemployment rate, and are much less likely to live in poverty. While there are many other benefits to getting a degree, the educational process can also be hectic, time-consuming, and stressful. Following are five ways to have a stable lifestyle while earning your degree.

Financial planning

College tuition generally costs around $10,000 per academic school year for state residents at local public colleges. Out-of-state residents will generally pay twice that amount. Private colleges can cost three times that amount. Consider financially planning your degree well in advance. Every year, apply for as many grants, loans, and scholarships as possible. Budget and forecast your expenses, because the last thing you need is to worry about paying for upcoming classes during the middle of a semester.

Social life

Full-time students generally have busy schedules that allow little time for socializing. And if you're a working adult, you'll have practically zero opportunities to socialize between work, school, and home. However, a social life is important for both mental well-being and stress relief. Consider scheduling time to regularly meet with friends or family to socialize and relax. Be sure to reward yourself with a night out after meeting important deadlines or passing a difficult exam.

Structure

The competing demands of school, family, and work will create consistent stress and scheduling conflicts. Consider establishing beneficial study and personal habits to help reduce inevitable problems. For example, schedule a set time every evening to study by yourself in the same quiet room. Make sure that your phone is turned off and everyone knows that you will be unavailable during this time.

Priorities

Knowing your priorities will greatly enhance your educational experience. Many potential conflicts can be avoided through knowing and following your priorities. That is, focus on school before all other things. Learn to set deadlines, avoid procrastinating, and set specific daily and weekly educational goals.

Online opportunities

Going to school full-time can be expensive, stressful and time consuming. An online degree program allows students to access their courses anytime, from anywhere. Besides schedule flexibility, online students can save time and increase student participation. Students can also save money because online programs require less transportation and textbook costs.

There are different ways to obtain lifestyle stability during school. Planning for finances, social activities, and your studies will greatly help. In addition to this, focusing on your priorities and taking advantage of online opportunities can help provide some stability.

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About Rachelle Wilber

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California, area. She graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and media studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on the porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.

You can follow Rachelle on Twitter.

 

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