Balancing My Dream Job and Being a Full Time Student
Well guys we made it through week one of this semester!! I am a full time student studying Family Life Studies with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Relations and I own a photography business! To say the least my life pretty crazy sometimes! I know there are a lot of us out there trying to balance their dreams and schooling at the same time! I'm not going to lie to you dropping out has been super tempting, stopping photography has crossed my mind more than once, and I have had my fair share of meltdowns this past year! I wanted to share my thoughts with you to hopefully help someone who might be going through the same thing as me! I will also answer common questions I get at the bottom! Let's get started...
First off I want you to know that you are AMAZING and capable of doing anything you set your mind to! There are so many times that I have wanted to give up and quit! The past year since I started photography has been difficult and full of “leap of faith” kind of decisions! I decided to stop trying to get into the Marketing Program at school and switch my major to Family Life Studies! It allowed me to graduate much faster and study full time online so I wouldn’t miss school for shoots! I was so nervous… I worried about what people would think about me for not doing a harder or more “realistic” major! After a ton of praying I made the move and it was amazing! My grades instantly improved and I went from struggling to get C's and B's to getting almost all A's! I felt like although I was taking on 17+ credits each semester I had more freedom to do my schoolwork when it fit my schedule. I was a lot less stressed too and I really enjoy what I learning! Find a major that fits YOU! If you are prioritizing your work goals then maybe being a pre med major isn't for you! Look for the right fit and don't worry about what everyone else thinks!
Be patient with yourself! There are days where the balancing is a breeze and I find myself accomplishing everything I need to! Other days I am lucky to get out of my sweat pants and peel myself away from editing or homework long enough to get groceries! Occasionally I miss an assignment or don't respond as fast as I would like to a client and it is in those moments that I realize I am H U M A N and I do the best I can! We can't do it all but prioritizing helps us focus in on what matters most! A few months before we got married I was going to school and working 2 jobs and I knew I needed to cut something! I decided that putting the time into photography and my school work that I was currently spending on my 2 job would be a better choice! I couldn't guarantee that I would make more money doing photography but I knew that I would have more time marketing and shooting which would hopefully pay off! In the end it was the best choice ever!
Time for the Q&A! Here are my responses to your questions!
Q: How did you decide to do both instead of school/photography only?
A: I have always wanted a degree. I know that it isn’t for everyone but for me it was really important! I didn’t want to have my options limited later on because I didn’t do it now! For instance if photography really took off and I wanted to increase my business knowledge and get an MBA I could! Or if something happened to my hubby and I needed to provide more I wouldn’t have to go back to school and have that stress! Or if I didn’t want to do photography I could go get my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy! In the end I felt I really needed both and knew with sacrifice and determination I could make it happen!
Q. How do you find motivation to do both and still go out and have a social life?
A. Sometimes I feel like a recluse haha! I edit and go to school all from home so getting out is important to me even if my todo list is a mile long (when is it not haha)! Recently I bought a membership at The Studio in Logan and have gone every day this week! It is a great way to distress and socialize/get out of the house! I do my best to make sure to get my work done before the weekend so in between shoots I don’t have to work on that and instead can spend time with Hudson and our families! We also have mandatory date night once a week which we love! Lastly I don’t do any work or school on Sunday! It is important for me not only religiously but also mentally to have one day where I don’t have to worry about stuff and can focus on our family and church!
Q. Did you tell your clients you were a student?
A. I feel like I am pretty transparent through social media and my website about my journey and being a student right now while also following my dream! If I client asked me specifically though I would for sure tell them!
Q. How do you make time for your husband?
A. We have weekly date nights which we LOVE!! They are really important to us! No distractions we just make memories and spend time together! We also try to keep our room a no phone zone which is nice! Hudson also comes with me to Idaho so we are rarely a part for the whole weekend!
Q. What is your homework and editing schedule like? Especially with exams?
A. During the week I usually start my day with photography and work into the afternoon then switch and work on school! Photography usually gets more time then school but that’s because it takes more time! If I am nearing finals or midterms it will usually switch and I spend more time on school! I also try to never get behind on school! I am terrible at math so I meet with my professor multiple times throughout the semester rather than stress myself out at the end and struggle to not rock the photography boat haha!
Q. How do you stay organized and keep track of your assignments/commitments?
A. I use Honeybook for photography and it helps me A LOT!! It keeps me organized and it’s a one stop shot for client communication, contracts, questionnaires, etc. I also add my personal stuff there so I can peek at the calendar and see everything! I also schedule my posts in advance through Planoly which is awesome