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lifestyle || the reality of work-life balance | a student’s transition to the 9 to 5

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OK, let’s be honest. A *full-time job*, great relationships, crushing your goals, maintaining your side-hustle AND dealing with administrative tasks like laundry, cooking, and surprise repairs … you can’t have time for everything. It’s impossible, isn’t it?! (AND I didn’t even include a commute 😲)

I’m a university student entering the workforce, and the new 9-5 routine for my marketing internship (which I’m loving, btw!!) has been an adjustment lately. It feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, and ✨gone✨ is the absolute flexibility of being a full-time student, blogger/YouTuber, and part-time (freelance) marketing consultant.

By the time 5 pm rolls around, there are only 5 hours left to start the “life” part of my “work-life” balance. Five weeks ago, my morning workouts completely fell off my priority list, I was going to bed too late in an effort to prolong the day, and I was all-around tired.

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I couldn’t help but wonder: if this is going to be my daily routine after I graduate, how am I EVER going to find the time again for what matters to me? I furiously browsed through social media pages at 1 am, but everyone I could find sharing their experience was either a full-time student or a full-time entrepreneur. Don’t get me wrong – I know first-hand that those careers are REALLY hard too, but they are completely different in flexibility and structure.

Where were the working professionals and THEIR semblance of a work-life balance on YouTube? In other words: how do people DO IT?!

(Seriously, if you have any book/blog/channel recommendations – please share them! 😋)

the challenge

Setting new goals and finding pockets of time to work towards them is an important part of self-development. But when life gets in the way, routines change, and time is scarce, we need to go back to the essentials.

I used the concept of “energy non-negotiables” to reset and re-calibrate my expectations and I challenge you to do the same! Think carefully about what habits you REALLY need to support your lifestyle (not just as goals). Use this question to guide you:

What do I need in order to: have energy, feel confident and be my best self?

Stress-test your energy non-negotiables with some of these journal questions:

  • When life gets busy, would I still want to push myself to do this?
  • Is this a critical part of maintaining a positive relationship with myself?
  • Have I let go of guilt-inducing habits, and shifted them into the realm of accomplishment instead of obligation?

When you’re ready, share them with our Vibely community!

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