At one point or another most of us have to balance the load of working part-time while attending school. It can be hectic and stressful, trust me I know, I’ve done it all throughout college. However, finding a balance between both is essential for not only your success but also your mental health. So, this week’s blog post will be some tips on how to balance work and school as a student!
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Plan Out Your Work & Class Schedule
When you’re choosing which classes to take each semester try to be strategic about it. I would usually try to pick classes in the morning and have them back to back so I can pick up a 3pm-11pm work shift. If you have 2-3 hours between each class half your day is taken up already and you probably won’t be able to pick up a shift at work. So carefully see which shift timings are offered and what classes you can take and plan accordingly. My work schedule changed every week so I was able to pick three days of the week where I would be done with classes early so I could go into work after and save my weekends for studying. If you guys want to read more tips on productivity and staying focused make sure to check out my other blog post here.
Choose Your Priorities Carefully
Working part-time while being a full-time student isn’t glamorous but it is manageable and necessary for a lot of us. My first tip to you would be to learn to prioritize different aspects of your life. I know its college and we all want to go out and have a social life, which you should do, but not every other day. Sometimes you have to say no to a Friday night out so you can focus on school or work. It’s easier for our friends that don’t work as often or have a lighter school load to be going out more often but not all of us are in that position. So from the beginning prioritize what is important to your academic and career success.
Time Management Is Your Best Friend
I’m in no way saying not to socialize or go out with your friends. I know I have had more than enough nights out with my friends but that’s because I learned to manage my time efficiently. For example, if you want to go out on Friday night and have work Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday then make sure you are hustling on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You need to plan out what you need to study and actually get that done, no fooling around. If start time blocking I promise you you’ll have more free nights to hang out with friends.
Plan Ahead and Stay Committed
If you agree to work one day or block out your Saturday to study then make sure to stick to it. I’m big on planning and writing everything in a planner. If it goes in the planner I won’t change it, unless absolutely necessary. This is a good way to hold yourself accountable and not taking on too much at a time. Be reasonable with the number of hours you work and how much time you spend on schoolwork. Don’t continuously call out of work or switch your study schedule around so you can go to last-minute dinner plans. If you plan to do something stick to it so you have a set and organized routine.
Take Care Of Yourself
You and your mental health should always be at the top of your list of priorities. It’s very easy to get caught up in school or take on too many shifts at work that it starts taking a toll on us. Please don’t let this happen. If you have one week with three exams then you really shouldn’t be working 8-hour shifts 4 days a week. Also if you start burning out or are extremely stressed that’s only going to negatively affect you in school.
What I like to do is see which weeks I have multiple exams and assignments due and make sure the week before I only work a shift or two so I have time to study. Then on all the other weeks that are easier for me to manage, I make sure to pick up extra shifts to make up for the money I “lost” during those busy weeks where I didn’t work as much.
Always Remember Your Long Term Goals
I know it feels like this stressful point of your life will never end. You feel stuck in this life where all you do is work and study and go to school and repeat. I’ve had many days where I would be so stressed, so frustrated that I would question everything.
If you start feeling like this ask yourself, “Why am I doing this” and list all your long term goals. Find your motivation and why you’re going to college or working that job you don’t love. In my case, I went to college to get a degree to help pursue my career in marketing, an industry I love and I’m very passionate about. I worked in a hospital because it was a part-time job that had the highest hourly rate and helped me pay for rent and tuition.
Remember that this lifestyle isn’t forever. You’re in college to get a degree and once you graduate that will come to an end. You work a crappy part-time job at the local Starbucks but that too will come to an end. This isn’t forever, you are just working hard and making ends meet. At the end of the day, you will reach your long term goals and you will live a different lifestyle. Looking back you will thank yourself for all the hard work you put in.
These are some of my tips and tricks on how to juggle work and school as a college or high school student. Have any other tips? Make sure to comment them down below and help others!
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