It’s an exciting time in your life. You’re going back to school for medical assistant training. A whole new career beckons. But along with the excitement you’re making a positive move in your life, you can probably think of a few challenges you’re going to have to overcome too, like maybe balancing your education with a new or existing part-time job, or a work study program (like the one BAMA offers).
After all, you’ve got a phone bill to pay. Perhaps the rent, as well. And last time you looked, you were really in need of a new pair of sneakers.
Take a deep breath. You know you can do this.
Still, a little helpful advice never hurt, right?
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you find a happy life-balance during your medical assistant training while working at a part-time job.
Set Achievable Goals
Remember the fable of the tortoise and the hair? You’re going to do (and feel) a whole lot better if you set yourself achievable school goals. There’s no point in starting off at a pace that’ll eventually wear you out, or in leaving everything to an eleventh-hour, desperate dash. Who wants to be an out-of-breath student? Far better to be a student that’s cool, calm, and collected. Each school week, determine what you want to achieve and break that big goal down into smaller, bite-size goals. Spread out your reading for class. Ensure you give yourself plenty of study time for an upcoming test. In this way, you’ll see your confidence grow as you achieve each target you’ve set yourself. When you set achievable goals, any reading assignment or test is one you’ve got aced.
Get Family and Friends Support
Chances are you’ll balance medical assistant training and work better with a little help from your family and friends. Let the important people in your life know it’s important to you that you succeed in what you’re setting out to accomplish. Tell your significant other that you won’t be able to do so many chores around the house. Let your sometimes-noisy roommate know that you’re going to need quiet study time once in a while. Ask your parents to pick up your child from daycare, or spend time with them while you’re at school. Whoever it is, let the person know that what you’re doing is a big challenge for you, and you’d appreciate any support they can provide, small or large. Of course, you can also let that person know that once it’s all over… you’ll take them out for a fancy meal at the restaurant of their choice for being such a steadfast supporter. That’s sure to get them firmly in your corner.
Make Time for Study
Outside of your daily planner, there are plenty of useful time managements apps available that’ll help you make time for study in other ways. So how about using Evernote for capturing thoughts and ideas on-the-go so you never have to waste time staring at blank essay paper again? And you know study time is precious, so why not battle the draw of the internet by saving your favorite blogs and videos for later with Pocket? You could also get on board with focus booster if you’re one of those types who are prone to putting off to later what should really be done right now. Really, with any of these apps working double-time for you, who needs 24-hours in the day?
Make a Date for Fun Time
All work and no play is sooner or later going to wear your batteries down to an intermittant blip. Yes, school is important, and so too is your job. But setting aside time for activities that are simply fun is essential for your everyday health and happiness. Whether it’s going to the movies, working out at the gym, or chatting with your friends over a cup of coffee — allow time in your busy week for whatever makes you feel good inside. Studies have shown that not allowing for play in your life can be physically and mentally damaging. Remember you’re training to be a Medical Assistant – the health of others and your own health should be equally paramount.
Ask for Help When You Need It
If you do find yourself struggling in class, ensure you let your instructor and school councilor know straightaway. Don’t let whatevever problem you have grow to monster proportions. Staff at the school you’re attending want to see you succeed, and they’ll go out of their way to provide you with any assistance they can give. It’s very likely there are even programs in place that can help students who are having a tough time. But you’ll never know, if you don’t step forward and explain to someone you’re struggling. Remember, we all need help ocassionally; and sometimes the only way we can get that help is by asking for it.
Self-Assess for Success
As a captain successfully steers a sail boat to shore, watching for winds that may blow the boat off course, take regular timeouts to assess how you’re progressing through school. Are you on the right track? Do you need to be doing something differently? These self-assements needn’t take a long; a few, honest minutes with yourself is all you need. For instance, if you decide you need more study time to pick up your grades, take a look at your week and see where you can carve out an extra 30 minutes cracking open the books. Or if you’re finding yourself late for school a little too often, can you get to bed at an earlier hour, or leave the house a few minutes earlier in the day? Remember, you’re the captain of your own boat, sailing it through each school module. And nobody knows the boat better than you. So if you recognize you’d benefit from small or big improvements here and there, make a promise with yourself to act on those improvements. Success will surely follow.
Balancing medical assistant training with a part-time job is definitely a challenge, no question about it — but it can be done. Have confidence in your own abilities, and, along the way, seek out ways to give yourself the best chance of graduating school with flying colors — on the way to a brand new career as a Medical Assistant. Yes, bye-bye part-time job.