Being a part of Ooligan Press has been an amazing experience for me, and working for the press on top of keeping up with my classes takes up the majority of my time. However, at Ooligan, professors and fellow students always encourage each other to go outside the press and classes to find practical job experience, be that internships, blogging, or—in my case—both.
Learning to balance these three things on top of working a part-time job as a retail associate has been a challenging but highly rewarding and educational experience. I know I’m not the only busy student out there, so here’s my advice to my fellow overworked students.
First: Never before did I understand the importance of budgeting my time until there wasn’t enough of it in the day for me to finish everything I needed to do. I’ve found one of the best ways to avoid the potential confusion that comes with juggling so many projects is to schedule everything you have to do into some sort of planner. I like to use a to-do app through my Windows 8 system, but really, it could be anything from a wall calendar to a physical day planner. If I give myself a deadline to do something, especially when it comes to my blog, I’m much more likely to get it done than if I leave myself to do it in my own time.
The main challenge for me has been to make my posts on my blog consistent. There have been many weeks where my blog went ignored, but by planning my week and deciding which posts to write for what week, posting to my blog has become easier.
My second piece of advice is to take advantage of the spare time that you find to try and get ahead. I like to read submissions for the press I intern at while sitting on the MAX on my way to work or school. Sometimes, when I find myself not doing anything at home, I look at my schedule and find something that I could at least start. It’s amazing what can get done in the time between classes and work.
Lastly, and this may seem to go a little bit against what I just said, but you need to make some time for yourself when you aren’t doing anything related to work or school. Sometimes you have to plan this time ahead. Give yourself a day where you only schedule one thing or nothing at all. Take a break from all the craziness that’s your busy life and do something that you like: read, paint, play video games, or watch the new episode of your favorite show.
Balancing everything that we have to do in this busy world can be difficult, and sometimes there are weeks when I want to pull my hair out, but it has all been worth it. Working in Ooligan Press and taking classes with amazing staff and fellow students who are super supportive gave me the confidence to really work on my blog and not be afraid of expressing my opinions on literature and publishing. It has been hard work, and is often a delicate balancing act, but it’s all completely worth the effort.