Balancing school and life is something that takes a lot of trial and error to finally perfect. In my attempts to balance priorities in my own life, I have discovered that it is detrimental to allocate all of my resources into achieving just one goal. I have also found out that a strong support system is necessary in achieving any goal I set.

I am the type of person that will take on many different projects at once. Right now, my “projects” include five classes, four of which are completely online and one that is a hybrid lab science course. Along with classes, I work two to three days a week at the Connecticut Network in Hartford as a production technician and one day a week at MxCC as an intern in the Office of Marketing and Public Relations. I also volunteer at Valley Shore Community Television any chance that I get, directing and operating cameras for different public access television shows.

School, overall, is my number one priority, because a degree is necessary for career advancement in the communication field. However, I do need to work in order to pay for my education! I need to work as much as I can, but still have enough time for my schoolwork. If this means going to work and taking out my computer to log onto my online class during my lunch break, so be it!

I am also the type of person that tends to push things to the last minute. This isn’t a great habit of mine, but I work around it by scheduling what my coming week is going to look like every Sunday night. I am able to plan exactly when I’m going to get an assignment done and whether or not I need to cancel any of my already made plans in order to complete my schoolwork. I am always confident that I will be able to get all of my work done before their due dates.

My biggest tip on how to balance school and life is to make sure that you leave enough time to have some time to relax in your schedule.

If I don’t take the time to just sit and talk with my family and friends, I get too stressed out and cannot get any of my schoolwork done no matter how hard I try. While school should be high on any student’s list of priorities, it is always important to step back from the textbooks and computers to reconnect with loved ones. When I hit a wall trying to write an essay, I will leave my desk to go hang out with my mom, brother and grandma, or go over my boyfriend’s house until I can gather my thoughts and continue my work.

Having too much on my plate is a problem I constantly have, and my loved ones help me cope with the overwhelming amount of work. I know if I am successful in completing my schooling, they will be proud of me.

Surrounding yourself with people who care about you and want you to be successful is the only thing that helps me manage the huge amount of work I have to do. They encourage me to continue holding my jobs, volunteering and completing my school work. They know I am capable of handling the work, even when I doubt myself. Without their support I absolutely would not be where I am today.



Cobi O’Connell ’15 is a communication major at MxCC. She is also interning in the Office of Marketing & Public Relations.