How to Balance School and a Job

It’s no secret that balancing school work with just about anything is tough, especially if it’s a job. College itself is like a full time job! Many students find themselves in a nearly impossible balancing act as they work part time to help pay for their education. If this resonates with you, have no fear! It can be done. You can do it. Here is how.

Leave your work at work.

An important thing to remember is that you are a student first. When you’re in class or studying, you do not want to be thinking about work. Find a job that allows you to maintain focus on schoolwork when you are not working. Servers in restaurants or retail store employees are good examples of jobs that require little to no commitment outside the workplace.

Find flexible hours.

You should be able to build your work schedule around your school schedule, especially since your classes will change every semester. Finding a job that acknowledges your need for some flexibility is ideal. In addition, a job where you can work weekend daytime hours is a smart choice; you’ll still have time to hang out in the evenings with friends and weekdays will be free for classes.

Communicate clearly.

Make your bosses aware of your status as a student. More than likely they not only understand your situation, but they may have employed students in the past and found a system that worked well. If you are having trouble with homework, talk with your teachers and let them know you also have a job. They may not give you a break, but knowing where you’re coming from will help them talk to you about tips for managing the coursework.

Set some boundaries.

Decide before you apply for or accept a job how many hours you would ideally like to work. Set a few rules for yourself when it comes to socializing – instead of going out every Saturday night, you may have to alternate every other. Basically, set guidelines so when you feel a moment of weakness, you’ll be able to refer to them to keep yourself focused.

Remind yourself what is at stake.

Why are you working? To pay for school. What happens if you don’t work? You can’t pay for school. In the long run, it is worth it and you’ll be proud of yourself when it’s over. In the short run, it may feel like you’re missing out on something. At the end of the day, work hard so you can play hard and live well.


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