Like many other students beginning graduate school, I was quickly charged with responsibilities and had to find time for studying by letting go of many other things I valued. Letting go of football and the violin was, however, self-defeating: it might have brought me more time in the short term, but spending that extra time on work only made me more stressed and less productive.
Towards the end of the MSC (Master of Science program) started to lose my motivation and curiosity for science and research, as well as my creativity. Spending so much time and energy in the laboratory, and focusing all my attention on my thesis and courses, made me feel down and almost totally uninterested in my field—not to mention short-tempered and oversensitive in my personal communications.
Over time, I learnt from these experiences. When I started my PhD, I focused on balancing academic success with personal time-off, and made personal happiness a priority in my weekly schedule. My mentor and I discussed my work-life balance early in my program, and we arrange our lab responsibilities accordingly.
I set boundaries for myself in new ways: rather than doing lab work all weekend, I’d play football or the violin, or visit loved ones, before allowing myself to work for a few hours.
This was hard at first: I worried that it would affect my standing with my peers, and superiors, but I had learnt from experiences that an overloaded schedule can drain you so much that you become unfocused and start making mistakes or forgetting important details.
Since establishing a better work-life balance, I’ve been doing well in graduate school. Outside the lab, I’ve been able to take up a few leadership positions at my university because I’m not as stressed with my work. I serve as our department’s student councilor and I am also vice-president academic in the Health Sciences Graduate Students’ Association. My advice is this: a healthy work-life balance isn’t a luxury; it’s a key part of success in graduate programs.
41. What is the author’s problem?
A. He must study hard to graduate.
B. He must give up his hobby for study.
C. He didn’t know how to study more effectively.
D. He didn’t know how to deal with pressure.
42. Paragraph 2 shows ______.
A. the challenges of an MSC program
B. the consequences of giving up hobbies
C. the benefits of focusing on schoolwork
D. the importance of balancing study and hobbies
43. To balance academic and personal life, the author ______.
A. asks his peers for help
B. seeks to reduce his lab duties
C. puts his hobbies first more often
D. avoids schoolwork at weekends at all
44. When the author gets his hands too full, he ______.
A. tends to put things on hold
B. tends to lose the attention to details
C. will lose his patience with his academic work
D. will make a new schedule accordingly
45. What can be inferred from the author’s personal experience?
A. It’s never too late to make a change in the university.
B. It’s easy to be work-life balanced in our lives.
C. Multi-tasking has many advantages in the university.
D. Work-life balance is necessary in the university.