By Teresa Acosta
Los Angeles Unified School District’s leaders presented a webinar last Wednesday with useful information for college students and families about balancing work, school and life.
Great Outcomes is an initiative, in partnership with local colleges with resources to help students in LAUSD obtain a high school diploma and successful college placement.
East Los Angeles College’s president Dr. Alberto Roman was included as one of the presenters.
The tips covered were strategies for balancing the different areas of life, navigating the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and resources for families.
LAUSD school board president Monica Garcia, representing Great Outcomes, expressed gratitude for the program’s community of employees for the hard work they do to provide opportunity for students to succeed along the pathway to college.
Garcia also invited students to ask questions, saying that all of the presenters were there to help support them.
“Our schools and colleges are here to support you and we will continue to do so during this difficult pandemic. You know our highest priority is your academic success, and will continue to be. We will continue to be with you every step of the way, to get you to overcome any barriers that come with this unprecedented pandemic and these times,” said Dr. Roman.
Creating a schedule was the foundational step given by Rosalba Villalobos, the College Promise Coordinator at ELAC, that will help students organize their time between work and studying.
Being able to visualize your tasks on a calendar can help you see how much time each task will actually take to complete.
A schedule can be used to create boundaries between the different areas of your life. Make sure to include any personal tasks, such as laundry, or family time on your schedule to block the time out and give those their own space.
Setting time aside for each area and not allowing any crossover between them so that the student can be singly focused and present. California State University, Los Angeles Pathways programs manager, Ariana Gonzalez, shared the advice that she changes her clothes from professional attire for work to relaxed clothing for studying, as a way to tangibly adjust her mindset for each.
Constructing a support system of friends and family and communicating with them your goals and needs so that they can provide you with the necessary resources.
One of the suggested avenues for finding people to include in your support system is networking at the school you attend to be able to interact with like-minded people who can understand what you are experiencing.
This includes getting to know your professors and attending the office hours they have available to make use of the guidance they can provide.
The importance of completing a financial aid application through FAFSA was highlighted as a way for students to learn about the aid they may be eligible to use to pay for college.
Applying for student worker positions was encouraged, noting the benefits and flexibility of working on campus. The supervisors are more aware of your commitments to school and have the ability to accommodate your study and class schedules compared to a traditional workplace.
With a holistic approach in mind, remembering to spend time on physical and mental well-being was discussed.
Healthy eating habits, quality sleep and physical activity were the general topics. Meal prepping and making healthy food choices were ways given to help save time, money and stay healthy.
There are food pantry resources available on campus for those experiencing food-insecurity. Setting aside time to relax and recover is one way to rejuvenate your body and mind in between stressful days.
Finding out what interests you and studying in a field that you enjoy can make the journey more enjoyable and might increase the chance of success.
Remembering the reasons why you are seeking higher education and revisiting these reasons often, may also help keep you on track.
For more information about what was discussed in this presentation you can contact Campus Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org.