How to Balance Working While in College
By Sydney Maston
Most college students have jobs outside of school; some students work while in college to have extra spending money, while others may be working to pay for things such as a car, house, or student debt. Whether you’re working full or part-time, going to school full or part-time; it can be tough to balance both workloads. With work, school, and personal life all demanding attention, many students struggle to prioritize these different areas of their lives. Due dates, quizzes, and exams are all things that may cause stress but even more so when it comes to also having a job. There are several practices that can help you ensure that you’re not drowning in frustration from a lack of time management. It can be hard to stay on track when you feel like you have a million things to do and not enough time to do them. But, there are ways to make the most of it.
- Prioritize your schedule. This can help take some of the impending stress away. Make sure to get with your boss to discuss setting a schedule that works for you. Scheduling work days opposite of days that your classes fall on can be a big help to ensure that you have plenty of time to complete assignments and throw in some study time. It’s also important to make sure that the schedule you’re intending to follow is reasonable. For example, cramming everything into one day and allotting yourself very few hours of sleep isn’t practical or sustainable. Although it may seem that having a job would cause poor time management, in a way it can be helpful and lead to more productivity in your life.
- Communication is key! Communicate your schedule to professors, bosses, family members, and friends. Doing this may allow for some more help or support. If someone is informed of how busy you are, they are more likely to pitch in where they are needed, such as picking up a shift, helping with chores, etc. It is important to let your boss know of your course load and they should be accommodating towards your academic goals by not overloading your work schedule and allowing time off before exams and quizzes.
- One of the most important practices is self-care. There is no point in putting in so much hard work and studying if you can’t have any “me” time. A demanding schedule can quickly become too overwhelming especially when you have no time to enjoy yourself. Whether you just want to wind down at home and catch up on your favorite tv show or have a night out with friends, it’s important to allow yourself to do so without feeling guilty for taking the day off. Don’t drive yourself crazy by wondering what assignments you could finish or what’s going on at your job while you aren’t there. Self-care also doesn’t just mean relaxing or taking time off; it means getting the right amount of sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced and healthy diet. Staying healthy should help lead to more productivity and less procrastination.
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