Getting a job and going to college at the same time is a big commitment, but it’s worth your time. Here are some tips to help you balance work and school.
Working a job and going to college at the same time is a big commitment. It’s totally possible as long as you know how to keep the balance between work and school steady.
In fact, the extra responsibility may be well worth your time.
Working while in college is a great way to sharpen your time management skills, add experience to your resume, and create a foundation of networking contacts. Not to mention, you’ll earn income that you can put toward paying off your tuition.
Find out how to hold a job and still go to school full-time with these seven tips to keep you on top of things.
Don’t try to make your class schedule around your work schedule. Choose your courses and then create your work schedule around it. That way, you’ll be able to make it to all your classes without any trouble.
Split the day between class and work.
Don’t try to fit small shifts between classes or run back and forth between them. That’s guaranteed to split your attention more than necessary. Focus on your classes without worrying about work and vice versa.
Either work during the day and take night classes or do all of your classes in the morning before heading to work later.
That clear separation will help you focus on one task at a time so you can get more done.
Get a planner, a calendar, or both, and write down everything.
As soon as you commit to something, make a note of it. As soon as a project comes up, write it down. Don’t let anything slip through the cracks — everything is important.
Use different colors to separate school work from job obligations.
Make it as easy as possible to see what you have coming up at a glance so you don’t overschedule yourself. You still need time for a little self-care in between all those deadlines.
Chances are, you may have to move some stuff around to make your schedule work for you. It’s much easier to adjust your job to suit your school schedule than vice versa.
When you apply for any job, make sure your boss knows you’re going to school.
Fit work around your classes, not the other way around. As a full-time student, college should have most of your attention. Your job is important, but your schoolwork shouldn’t ever suffer because of it.
One good example of this is when you find out about your midterms and finals.
As soon as you get those dates at the beginning of the school year, go ahead and schedule vacation time from work to give yourself stress-free time to study.
Your boss should totally understand you taking a week off a few months down the line if they already know you’re in school. In fact, they’ll probably appreciate your efficiency!
Breaks are very important. Don’t spend all of your free time engrossed in either school or work. But do take advantage of the small moments you get throughout the day.
Your bus commute, your break at work, and that extra hour between classes are great times to get some studying done.
Use your downtime throughout the day to look over a chapter you need to read. Go over flashcards while you have a second to spare. Complete a question or two on your homework if things slow down enough.
When you call it quits at the end of the day, you will have to cut down on the amount of schoolwork you have to get done, leaving you more time to relax.
Once it’s time to go home, it’s time to go home.
Go to your classes and work your shifts. Get everything done that you need to get done, but don’t feel the need to do a ton of extra stuff just because you have extra time.
You need breaks to keep you going.
Make sure you take your nights off from work. Don’t pick up extra shifts just because you feel the need to help or you want to be nice. Spend that time doing something you enjoy.
Look out for yourself and your stress levels above everything else.
If you’re overwhelmed by work, you may start to experience burnout. It takes a delicate balance to keep this whole thing running, so really strive to hold onto that happy medium.
Just because you’re having fun doesn’t mean you’re slacking.
Taking care of yourself means you will be at 100% when it’s time to buckle down and do things.
It’s easy to miss the little things when you have so much on your plate.
At the same time, missing those little things can lead to you wondering what you’re doing all of this for if nothing is coming out of it.
Pay attention to what you’re accomplishing. Really recognize the things you’re achieving on this long road to your future. It’s going to take some time to get to the big goal, but there is so much to celebrate along the way.
Praise from your boss on a job well done, getting an A on an assignment, and making it through a week without tearing your hair out are all wins.
Treat yourself with small rewards because you’re doing great!
This time in your life isn’t going to last forever.
Tell yourself that and repeat it again and again. Just imagine what it’ll feel like when you graduate and your hard work pays off.
There are so many reasons to keep up this lifestyle. It will get difficult sometimes, and you may feel like quitting to focus entirely on one thing or the other, but you can do this. You’re going to do this.
You’ll be so proud you stuck with it and got it done in the end.
Working while you’re in school is a big decision. Sometimes it’s a necessity, and sometimes it’s something you’re simply determined to do. It will certainly propel you further in life by giving you experience and cutting down on your college debt.
It’s something you can do if you set your mind to it!
Hopefully, by now, you feel confident about your ability to hold a job while you’re going to school full-time. Your effort will definitely be rewarded when you make it to that finish line.