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Balancing Life and Studies

Many things in life are a balance. Tip the scale one way too much and things start to become lopsided, but tip it the other way and the same thing happens. The key to living a successful life, flourished with opportunity in all areas, is to practice balance. Although easier said than done in many cases, balance allows an individual to nourish their life in more than one way. When pursing a higher education, many people are not able to 100% focus on their studies, even though that would be the ideal scenario. Obstacles tend to get in the way at times, whether they be a pregnancy, sick family member, full-time job, or even just life in general.

Martina Smith, a woman earning her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Chicago, had some thoughts about the relationship between balancing life and studies. Smith states, "You cannot put life on hold. Pursing the degree becomes a part of life."

To recognize pursing education is a part of one's life is to also recognize that one's life is a part of pursing education. This is to accept the fact that the messy aspects of life may affect the journey of pursing a degree. Everyone's education experience will be different, as everyone is experiencing different stages of life outside of their studies. The impact that these circumstances will have on studies may be significant, or it may not be, but either way they will shape an individual's education experience to be their own.

Smith also states that it is important not let perfect become the enemy of the good. Fixating on perfectionism may not lead to success in the way one may think it would. In the instance of earning a Ph.D., instead of trying to make a dissertation flawless, it may actually be more beneficial to be proud of it for just being done and completed to the best of one's ability. This promotes the healthy idea that earning a Ph.D is a doable process, and it can be celebrated with all of the other aspects of one's life simultaneously.

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