Student Life

Balancing Work-Study-Life at SFU as a Faculty of Education Student

Whether you’re a new student to SFU or returning for your undergraduate, graduate or doctoral studies in the Faculty of Education, one common theme often expressed by students is: “How do I strike a balance between studying, working (part-time or full-time) while still having time for my friends, family, and self? What do I do if I’m struggling?”

While this can seem overwhelming at times, the good news is you’re certainly not alone. Striking a balance is possible and can be achieved through self-discipline, time management and planning, along with resources from SFU.

“Disconnect” From Your Devices (Have Some “Me” Time)

Disconnecting from your devices (Phone, computer, tablet, gaming device, etc.) allows you the ability to recharge and regroup. In addition, studies have shown that setting time before bed to “disconnect” from your devices improves overall quality of sleep which leaves you with more energy during the day, allowing you to be more engaged and alert.

  • Set aside 30 minutes before bed to disconnect from all your devices. Use this time to do things like taking a bath, meditating, journaling, or reading a book. This can also be a good opportunity to be productive and write down everything that needs to be done the following day, folding your clothes neatly next to your bed that you plan on wearing the next day, or meal prepping
  • Dr. Luc Beaudoin’s “MySleepButton” is a great app that helps you fall asleep. Learn more:  

Talk to Someone You Trust 

If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, reach out to those in the SFU community (colleagues, TAs, professors). They understand life as a student and impact the pandemic has had over the past couple years along with the challenges of returning to campus and the general experiences students face with balancing work, school, and personal life.

Learn more about the various community resources across the campus:

Make Time for Exercise and Healthy Eating

It’s important to schedule time away from studying and working to take care of your health through healthy diet and regular exercise. A healthy diet fuels your body and gives you energy while exercising improves mental clarity and performance.

  • All active SFU students have free recreational membership which gives you access to the fitness centre, aquatic centre, drop-in sports and intramural leagues and squash/racquetball/tennis courts at the Burnaby campus
  • Can’t attend in-person? SFU Recreation offers a virtual library full of workouts and stretch & meditation sessions

Learn more at:

  • You don’t have to be a resident to visit the SFU Dining Hall! Check out their salad bar where you’ll have access to leafy greens, raw vegetables, and fresh fruits! In addition, they offer fresh fruit and yogurt, traditional hot breakfast items, baked pastries, fair trade coffee and more! For pricing and hours of operation:
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. To remind yourself, carry a water bottle along to class and keep it handy during your late-night study/homework sessions.

Set S-M-A-R-T Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based)

When starting a new journey or establishing a new routine or habit, it’s common to want to do everything at once and chase the idea of “perfection” leading to pursuing overly ambitious and at times unrealistic goals. This can result in feelings of burn out and dissatisfaction.

  • Start slow and set smaller, more attainable goals that can be steppingstones towards your main goal (for example: “My goal is to review my course materials for 30 minutes every night 3 weeks before the final exam” is a smaller, more measurable goal towards “Achieve an A in my course”)

Learn more:

Talk to an SFU Counsellor

All registered students at SFU have access to free, confidential, time-limited support through SFU Counselling Services. These services are provided by qualified counsellors, registered psychologists and their professional student-trainees and include:

  • initial consultation and assessment,
  • information and referral,
  • crisis support and safety planning,
  • and individual or group counselling.

Learn more:

For additional resources pertaining to mental health and well-being, please visit HealthLinkBC (