Aside from being able to earn money, working when you’re a college student can bring many benefits. Working while attending college can help you balance your life and set your priorities early. All of the experiences you’ll have as a working college student will also make it very easy for you to adjust to adulthood the moment you graduate.
Although beneficial, managing your time when you’re a working college student isn’t an easy feat. Attending college is already stressful, and working at the same time will surely add up to the stress. If you don’t know how to create the perfect balance when you’re a working student, you’ll end up compromising any or both of your responsibilities.
Make sure that none of these happen by managing your schedule as a working college student through these tips:
1. Keep Everyone Informed
Communication is key when managing your schedule between studies and work. Your employer will likely assign you to work until the wee hours of the morning if you don’t inform them that you’re attending college. In the same manner, your professor won’t give you considerations to allow you to submit your project past the deadline if they don’t have any idea that you’re working.
The first step in managing your schedule when you’re a working student is to inform everyone that’s involved. This means that you should inform your employer and colleagues that you’re studying, and let them know about your class and exam schedules, too. You should also give your professors a notice about your part-time job. Your responsibility as a working student will not usually become an issue to professors, especially if you’re enrolled in one of the colleges for working students.
2. Create A Schedule And Make Sure To Follow It
You’ll have a lot of responsibilities on your plate when you decide to study and work at the same time. Aside from attending classes and accomplishing other academic requirements, you’ll have to work with your employer on how often you can render overtime.
To make things easier for you, create a schedule and make sure to follow it. Since your studies are always your priority, plot your class schedules, due dates, study times, and other academic obligations first. This way, you’ll easily know when your free time is and when you should work.
Depending on your preferences, you can keep track of your schedule by using a pen and paper, or downloading an app on your smartphone. Regardless, it’s important to keep detailed information of your schedule so you’ll avoid having clashing schedules between your studies and work.
3. Never Procrastinate
One of the biggest mistakes students make is leaving everything to the last minute. If they have a project due next week, for example, they’ll work on it days (or even hours) before the deadline. And, while some students can still get through with this kind of routine, their outputs aren’t usually of high-quality.
As a working college student, you should never live the same way. Instead, you should work on your projects, both at school or work, as soon as they’re given to you. If you can’t finish the requirement in one sitting, break down the assignment and create small steps on how you can gradually accomplish it. The sooner you start working on your assignments, the better chances you’ll have of submitting high-quality work.
4. Set Boundaries
Aside from attending classes, college is the time of your life wherein you’ll meet new people and attend several social events. There’s nothing wrong if you want to expand your social circle in college, but if these activities prevent you from studying and working, you should learn how to say ‘no’ politely.
The effort you’ve put into making a schedule will be useless if you always hang out with your friends at school or work whenever they ask you to. You can’t do everything when you’re a working college student, so make sure to set boundaries for your priorities. Setting boundaries is one of the easiest ways for you to maintain a healthy balance between school and work.
5. Learn How To Manage Stress
You’re bound to experience stress when you decide to study and work at the same time. Often, you’ll feel stressed thinking about how you can manage your time and energy between school and work. This is especially true during your first semesters in college or when you’re new at work.
For you to effectively manage your time as a working student, learn how to manage stress. If you’re too tired to study or work, don’t push yourself to the limits as this can only lead to burnout. Once this happens, you’ll lose the motivation to do any task.
There are several ways you can effectively manage stress. You can try out some breathing exercises, meditate, or even do some yoga. You can also de-stress by talking to your friends and family or pursuing your hobby.
Managing stress is essential when you’re a working college student as it can help you to stay focused and productive.
6. Stay Healthy
Most students opt to apply for part-time jobs because they want to earn and save money when in college. But, regardless of how well-paid you are at your job, you should never abuse your body. You won’t be able to enjoy all your earnings as a working student if you’re always sick. Poor health can also have adverse effects on your academic performance, and can become the reason why you can’t graduate on time.
If you want to effectively manage your time between school and work, don’t forget to take care of your health. As a college student, you can do this by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and getting at least eight hours of sleep every day. Taking short naps in the afternoon can also help boost your body and brain performance.
Improve Moving Forward
Regardless of how prepared you are to work and study at the same time, always be prepared for roadblocks along the way. No single strategy will work perfectly for you to manage your time as a working college student, so be ready to make changes to your first plan.