How one Endeavour student juggles studying working and raising two children
By Marina Vuckov – Studying BHSc (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine)
Marina is a senior Nutritional Medicine student who is just about to graduate from her degree. She also has a degree in Physiotherapy and has dedicated her life to helping people achieve better health.
In her younger years Marina was heavily into sports and never gave food much of a thought. However, in her mid 20s she began experiencing persistent digestive issues. This discomfort sparked her interest in natural health as she began to research the different kinds of food which could help her.
Becoming aware of the power of food for improving personal health, Marina’s passion grew and she began studying Nutritional Medicine part time.
Over the past four and a half years she has juggled study life, her job as a physiotherapist, two pregnancies, and adjusting to a life as a mum. Looking forward, Marina is excited to continue sharing her knowledge and passion in helping people achieve their health goals, through combining evidence and a holistic approach.
Marina comments, “it has definitely not been easy, and there were many times when I doubted that I could do it. But, in the end, my passion is what kept me going and I also wanted to do it for my girls. And I’m so glad I did!”
So how does Marina balance all of her competing priorities? She’s shared a few of her top tips below:
- Have a supportive tribe: Whether it’s family, friends, other students or mums, having supportive people to share your experiences with and rely on in times of stress can help you feel less overwhelmed. Plus, a friendly face can help you de-stress at the end of a long week!
- Get organised: Plan out all your assessments at the start of each semester and put them in your calendar so you know can easily see what upcoming tasks you have.
- Meal prep: Streamline your everyday life and try to plan out your meals and snacks for the week ahead. It’s also a good idea to have them portioned out in the fridge so they are easy to grab when you are in a rush. Don’t forget that overnight oats or a smoothie are always a winner for early morning classes!
- Study whenever you can: This will most likely be in the evening when the kids are asleep, but you can also listen to lectures when in the car, going for a walk, or waiting for an appointment.
- Try to get enough sleep: It can be so tough getting enough rest when you are juggling young children and assignments, but a lack of sleep can negatively impact our hormones, stress, weight, mood and ability to retain information.
- Manage stress: Try meditation, exercise, reading or some “me” time – whatever works for you!
- Find a reliable babysitter: This is especially crucial during exam time!
- Get support: if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, there are a variety of student support services you can access (for example, Academic Assistance or the Student Assistance Program). Also remember that Endeavour Wellness Clinics have some amazing treatments (such as Acupuncture, Nutrition or Massage) which can support your health and allow time for self-care.
- Remind yourself why you’re doing this: When things seem too hard, this will help keep you motivated.
- Be realistic: Only do the subjects you really think you can handle and always plan for things to take longer that you think!
It’s important to remember that sometimes you can’t juggle all the balls, and that’s okay! There will be times when the kids are sick, you have a big assignment due, and you just feel overwhelmed. In these moments, you just need to stop and be where you need to be – everything else can wait (yes, even the housework!).