Day in the Life: Non-Traditional Graduate Student
Life is good! It’s even better when it can be balanced. I have heard from many colleagues that college life is time-consuming.
Since becoming a wife and mother, my days have been complete with lots of joy, love, and, well, many online journalism assignments.
Here is a look into my life as a non-traditional graduate student; but first, what does a “non-traditional student” mean?
In short, a non-traditional student is a person who likely does not have the flexibility to sit in on a lecture or attend classes. Perhaps you are more than 25 years old, work a full-time job, live off campus, or are financially independent. If any of these descriptions fit you, then you are a non-traditional student too.
A day in my grad student life goes a little something like this…
The best part of the day is waking up – it’s also the most important.
I have been very much in tune with my Bible app these days. I find this app to be so helpful in centering my focus and also a great way to start a jam-packed day.
The first thing I do after seeing my husband off to work is say a prayer, then I read the Scripture of the day. Reading the word daily tends to bring a sense of calmness into my busy life as a wife, mother, business professional, and graduate student.
After my kids and I are dressed and fed, we are out the door and off to school. I kiss my four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter, as I give them quick pep talks.
By the way, it never gets easier to leave them. I guess you could say that I just get better at dealing with it.
Work, work, work
I arrive at work and start my day with a steaming hot cup of green tea (Yogi is my favorite).
For the next few hours, I am embedded in a stockpile of tasks.
Take a break
10:00 a.m.,12:00 p.m., & 3:00 p.m.
Breaks at work are golden. These are the times when I think the day is actually going somewhere.
What to do on a break?
- Check Regent’s Blackboard
- Communicate with husband and family through e-mail or phone (luckily they break at work, too)
- Take a brisk walk around the work building and parking lot
- Snack on something healthy
- Have some quick convos with colleagues
Truthfully, I enjoy leaving from work knowing that I have accomplished professional and personal goals. This is the time that I say my goodbyes to fellow workers and head out the door, never to look back.
The gang’s all here!
Once picking up our children from school, we set out to do something fun as a family.
If the weather is nice enough, we will go for a walk, but on fall days like this, we catch some recreational baseball.
We like to entice our son into putting some of his highly robust energy in a sport, so taking him to a game is one of the surest ways to keep him interested in playing.
Following a competitive game of baseball, you can find us parked at a local playground and living our best lives.
I take this time to bond with my babies. They are in the stages where nothing matters really but love and affection.
Here is where we allot some much-needed “me time” because by this time, we have bathed and settled our kids in bed. For the next several moments, it’s likely that I am:
- Responding to business e-mails
- Checking Regent’s Blackboard (again)
- Submitting any online assignments that are due
- Cleaning house
- Preparing for the next day’s adventure
In this hour, I am very mindful of how fortunate I am to work a full-time job and complete each semester as a full-time honor student – therefore whenever I get a chance to, I hug my family tight.
After all, I am reminded each day of how wonderful my other half is. He is the reason why I am able to achieve so much in a day. It is my honor to dedicate this time to my sweetheart because in the very active days as a graduate student I know that I am not alone.
Cheers to great husbands!
I dream about how the next day will be a whole new adventure.
Ericah Jones is a contributor to the Daily Runner.