Working as an illustrator while studying a subject that doesn’t overlap with your career one bit is no easy feat. But 24-year-old Alina Chhantel manages to juggle the two and does so quite effortlessly to boot. She is a sociology student who is in her final year of undergraduate studies at Tribhuvan University and a part-time illustrator at Mera Publications.
Here, Chhantel takes The Week through a typical day in her life so that we get to see exactly how she manages her hectic schedule while having a little bit of fun too.
“I believe in starting your day right. A productive morning makes me happy.”
I’m definitely a morning person. I wake up by six and spend the next hour or so freshening up and getting ready for the day ahead. If I have classes that day, I revise papers and complete any assignments I need to submit that day. At eight, I know I need to have breakfast and get ready to head out because I live in Dhapakhel and use the public transport. It takes me more than an hour to reach Kirtipur (where my college is located). So by half past eight in the morning, I’m out of the door.
“My days are pretty routine but I make sure I hang out with my friends, even if just for a while.”
My classes run from 10 am to 2 pm. After my classes I usually go out to either eat or hangout with my friends. Since all of us have a lot of work to do and assignments to complete, we don’t take more than an hour for this and then I head home. The journey back also takes anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. I freshen up and stay in my room without doing much till five in the evening and then I sit down to work on my illustrations. I spend about two to three hours drawing, sketching and illustrating the things I need to. Every Friday, I need to submit the work I complete that week to the publishers, so I head over to the Mera Publications’ office that day. After completing that I don’t do much. I just finish up some chores or complete things I’ve neglected and then I have dinner and go to bed.
“I get the most work done when I don’t have class.”
Because I’ve crafted my schedule in a way that prioritizes me attending my classes at T.U., on my off days – because I don’t have to follow through with a lot of the things I have set as my daily routine – I tend to have a lot of free time.
I try to utilize these days to the max and get a lot of work done. I also sometimes head over to a library, finish my research papers, and study for college because I can focus properly on the tasks I have to complete there. I’m also involved in the Rotary Club so I also attend meetings and get my work for that done on these days as well.
“The most enjoyable part of my day is actually my commute time.”
Unlike most people, I actually like the time I spend commuting to and from college. Because I’m not rushing to finish my tasks or doing any stressful work in general, I feel like this is the only time I get to relax and reflect on my life. I also enjoy observing other people around me and learn a lot of new things and get a lot of ideas during this time.
“Creating to-do lists keeps me and my schedule in check.”
Something that I’ve starting doing recently is creating a to-do list in the
morning and revising the activities I did throughout the day at night. I started it from the New Year as my resolution for the year and even though it hasn’t been that long since I’ve been doing these two |
things daily, I have noticed that it has helped me keep my daily routine in check. I think everyone would benefit from writing out a to-do list in the morning. It will keep track of all the important things you need to focus on that day and actually motivate you to finish all those tasks. And reflecting on your actions before bed will make you aware of any mistakes you might have made that day so that you can think of ways to improve or change your habits if the need be.