During my year in between undergrad and graduate school, one of my side gigs was editing my friend’s grad school papers. She attained her Master’s in Leadership and Management and one of her papers really stood out to me because it discussed the paradigm shift between older generations and Millennials’ work-life balance practices. According to her research, Millennials put a greater emphasis on maintaining a healthy work-life balance. That got me thinking a lot, especially because I so admired her for being able to do so despite being a part-time master’s student, working a full-time job, and being a mother of a school-aged child.

I promised myself that when I moved to Philly, I would do try my best to do the same. My first semester, was a bit overwhelming. The thrill of moving to a new city and going back to school was enough to distract me for a while. This second semester, though, I made sure to take a step back to try to manage the different aspects of my life.

In terms of work load and kinds of assignments, my classes have been different this semester—plus, I’m not as nervous about turning in assignments anymore. Still, taking 5 classes takes a toll on you. Plus, because grad school is expensive, I decided to try to get extra hours at work and even get a second job. The few weeks I had this second job, though, I found that it was taking away from my time to myself and my time with my friends. Being away from home and family is hard, so when your life becomes work and school (work), it becomes difficult to manage your mental health. I am now just taking my 5 classes, and working a few hours a week.

This has given me time to do all the things that make me happy—all the things that make a healthy work-life balance. I have managed to stay on top of all my readings and assignments for my classes, work a few more hours than usual, and make time for myself. I go to the gym about three to five times a week (depending on the week), go to a happy hour or explore the city with my friends here and there or simply get together for some girl time, and am able to have days to myself to catch up on laundry and binge my favorite shows.

I am not going to lie. This semester was a bit rougher than last, but staying busy and learning to balance out the things that need to be done and the things that make me happy have made all the difference.