Navigating Work-Life Balance and Stress: Insights from Mr. Khan-Hohensee & Dr. Bailey

Written by Alyssa Diaz

As the spring semester comes to an end, and communication students are faced with deadlines and exams, school instructors offer advice on stress management tactics, such as prioritizing personal well-being and mindfulness over work-centric attitudes.

Jason Khan-Hohensee

In his role as an instructor, Jason Khan-Hohensee, Assistant Director of the School of Communication, equips students with the tools necessary for professional success through his course, “Careers in Communication.” While preparing students to enter the professional world, Khan-Hohensee also focuses on delivering a message regarding work-life balance: find fulfillment in your career, but never at the expense of your well-being. Fulfillment in one’s career is crucial, and students must prioritize confidence, humility and continuous exploration. However, achieving work-life balance means finding fulfillment in one’s work, finding what works for the individual, and developing personalized stress coping mechanisms.

“The biggest lesson that I’ve learned throughout my career is to always humble yourself and to give yourself lots of grace,” Khan-Hohensee said. “Never devalue yourself…never lose confidence, and never lose that love of exploration. It’s so incredibly tough to walk the line between working hard and working too hard… exercise away the stress… take time away.”

Dr. Rachel Bailey

Dr. Rachel Bailey, Associate Professor in the School of Communication, reinforces this sentiment. Drawing from her own experiences of prioritizing work over rest, she issues a warning against the path of self-neglect. She urges students to confront their “if I just make it through” mentality head-on and have a weekly “meeting with yourself,” advocating for prioritizing personal well-being.

“It might sound simple, but it made a big difference in my efficiency. Just looking forward and acknowledging stuff that is going to happen that week made me feel more prepared and less stressed,” she said.

As you maneuver through the challenges that come with the end of a semester, never forget to give self-care and mindfulness first priority. Your personal health is just as vital as your academic performance, so don’t be hesitant to ask our faculty for help when you need it. Continue moving forward, but don’t forget to look after yourself as you go.