Even though you are in school, life still must go on. Between work, significant others, family, friends, kids, pets, the responsibilities in life are endless. How you deal with those distractions or stressors is the only thing that is in your power and that you can control. There will be times when you are studying for a big test in two days and your friend calls you up to go see a band playing that night, or your child comes into your study room and tells you she feels sick. What do you do?
First thing, you must stay organized. Working full-time and going to school full-time has definitely forced me to implement multiple strategies of filing and organizing all of my due dates and upcoming assignments so that I can easily view them and stay ahead of the game. I personally like to do this with either a planner or a calendar, something that I can take with me wherever I go. I am lucky enough that my school provides a calendar of assignments that can be downloaded to my own personal calendar, making the grouping of the two much more simple. This allows me to see both my school, work, and personal life all in one spot without having to switch from calendar to calendar. If this asset is provided to you, I would definitely utilize it.
Next tip, always refer to your syllabus. Your syllabus is your friend. Your teachers create it mostly for your benefit and expect you to use it throughout the entirety of the course, not just during syllabus week (guilty!). A good syllabus will provide you with information such as objectives, assignment/dates, resource and contact information, and what is expected of you during the course. I do not print off many things from school because I like to store everything on my computer, but I will print my syllabi at the beginning of each semester and hang them above where I study so I can always have a quick reference guide of due dates and what to study. This has definitely saved me on more than one occasion!
Finally, make sure you prioritize school but allow a little wiggle room. No one is perfect and no professor expects you to give up your entire life just for the sake of school. We are all human and all have our own lives outside of work and our teachers understand that. While you should want to put school first and become the best clinician possible, it is important for you mental health to take a break and be with the ones you love. It is a great stress reliever and refreshes you to begin studying again. Allow your family and loved ones to understand that while this is temporary, school is very important to you and sometimes you will have to make sacrifices, but those who love you will understand and hopefully be there to support and motivate you along the way!