Education is a priority. This is something we are used to hearing in our society not just from our peers, but our parents as well. We are told that time management is the key to healthy and balanced life, and the prioritizing is necessary for time managing, especially in post-secondary education. However, that balance has diminished, and education has been prioritized over our personal lives.
Between commuting, studying, working hard and trying to find room for sleep, I hardly have time to say hi to my mother sometimes. By the time I get home, she is already asleep and all I can think about is doing the same.
Ideally, family time should be factored into our daily lives and our parents should be prioritized just like we prioritize our studies. But this is no longer the case.
However, on top of the stress of getting our assignments in on time and finding some room to do some last-minute studying for midterms, I now find myself stressing over when the next time I will be able to spend time with family will be.
This is not intentional. This is just how we are forced to respond to the demands of university life.
The standards seem to suggest that if you are in university, in order to succeed you should factor out work and family to give an adequate amount of dedication to your schoolwork and find a way to factor in extra curriculars to improve our CVs.
But how can we factor out these necessities and still manage to live the university life? For many of us, a part-time job is the only way we can afford to pay for our meals and with rising living costs in Ontario, unless you are fortunate enough to have your parents’ financial support, work is a necessity.
When bursaries and financial aid can’t cover for your university expenses and if your workload is more demanding than most, there is always the option of a holiday job if you are willing to take away from perhaps the one time you may be able to breath between books in the semester.
So, if school and work are both necessitates how can we find the time for family while keeping up with these demands. According to the Guardian, “It’s often said at Cambridge that students have to sacrifice one of three aspects of their lives to survive: work, sleep or their social life.”
I can personally vouch for this, where my social life has dwindled down to asking a friend to grab a self-serve coffee with me five minutes before our lecture starts and then walking in two minutes late to lecture.
Sacrifices must be made, but when sleep is a luxury, coffee seems to be one of my greatest expenses. In addition to coffee, with a total of three hours of my day being spent commuting, I also need to factor in the meals I need to spend on for my 12-hour school days since meal prep doesn’t always suffice.
University life has made me realize how important it is to find time to share a meal with my family, if I can ever find the time to do so. With the holiday break on its way, I’m hoping that without the stress of making it to lectures on time, I may be able to find a way to balance between work, school and extra curriculars to spend some time with my family. If only finals weren’t around the corner.