In the past months I moved to Walvis Bay, a coastal town in Namibia to take up a graduate trainee job with Puma Energy Namibia. I was happy and have written a blog post about it (read it here)
What I didn’t mention in that post is how I was going to juggle work and honors studies that I left behind in Windhoek which I wanted to complete in the same year. I also did not mention how I am going to balance my blog and the work.
The first month was promising; I was bombarded with lots of information and things to learn.
I met new people in the past months and some of them were nice people and quickly became my friends.
The first month was not an easy one (read about it here)
I was nevertheless happy about my new opportunity. University was on recess for that first month so I did not have to think about my honors studies and just had to do what my manager asked me to do as in everything.
In the second month university started again and the deadlines
started to multiply.
In the past months, I had to juggle between work and school. It became so intensive that I found myself leaving the office at midnight or at even later than that. Four in the morning I had to be up to catch the bus at half past five. At some point I found myself stuck and couldn’t figure out the way forward with my studies and sort of wanted to give up. But one of my newly found friends assured me that all will be well and I should keep going.
So I held on to my studies while juggling my work. I would work from 6 am to 5 pm (2 hours extra) and then I will switch to my school work until late.
The research work demanded too much of my time. In the past months there were days when I would travel to Windhoek which is about 400km away to write tests or for presentations. Sometimes it was for consultations with my supervisor whom at certain occasions will not show up.
Since I had to be at work the next day, I had to travel back to Walvis Bay the same day and would usually arrive at 12 midnight with no choice but to sleep for the few hours and catch my bus at 5 am for work again.
Some of my colleagues only saw me sitting there late at night and didn’t know what was keeping me busy. Shout out to those who dared to ask.
There were deadlines to be met and got so intense that I had to develop strategies to cope through.
This are some of the strategies I developed:
First of all I decided to stay fit: I would run 14 km on weekends: this enabled me to balance my mind.
In the meantime I also discovered the running events and started to participate in them.
I felt at ease and could balance my day hustles.
I made time to journal my work day: I made time every day to journal how my day at work was. This allowed me to reflect where I could improve to keep myself abreast.
I did a lot of research over the weekend: Doing lots of research over the weekend enabled me to stay ahead with my school work and it helped me take off some burden during the workdays.
I developed close relationship with those that have walked the same path: It was easing because they will guide me and assist me when my supervisor was so far away and wouldn’t do telephone consultations.
I got strict with my personal time: I would come in the office at 6 am and finish work at 5 pm. I actually worked two hours extra for free. After five pm most of the colleagues will start to leave the office, however there will still be some left that will need my assistance.
In some instances I was asked things which I had no idea about. I had to make it clear that after five is my personal work time and should be left as such. To some that came through as rude but yes in life sometimes you have to put your feet down and say no.
In the past months I managed to pull through with my school work and day job. Although at some point it was not easy and I was accused of being withdrawn from colleagues. Little did they know what or some knew and chose to ignore what I was going through.
On a lighter note
In the past months have fallen in love with biking and bike at least twice during weekends.
I have also made some friends that would invite me out for drinks or grills after a long day at work or during the weekends. I read a lot of articles and journals than ever before as well.
I also celebrated my birthday in the past months.
In addition I have couch surfed and have hosted travelers from all over the world through couch surfing in the past months.
In the past months I helped organize events such as the heritage day at work as well as the company’s year end function which gave me the opportunity to of cruising in the Atlantic Ocean.
I have also taken up driving school lessons and I really progressed well. I look forward to getting my driving license in earlier next year.
The past six months availed me the opportunity to attend my first bridal shower and I was the Centre of attention for not wearing the prescribed dressing code.
I also made time to visit my family up north after six months away. I was happy to see them especially my grandmother who is now 93 years old and has aged gracefully.
Oh my, I almost forgot. A highlight from the past months was when I got a hustle job and had to collect human specimen from a vessel crew of 19 for a drug and alcohol test. I hand to send the shipment to India and was so happy to have pulled it off. (I got this job through Couchsurfing though)
All in all the past months were tough and yet rewarding. I have neglected my blog for some time but I now look forward to growing with you as I share my stories and experiences.