6 Tips for Balancing Work and School

By: Chanel Deloatch

Trying to balance working (part or full time) and going to college may seem impossible. With the right mindset, support, and motivation, anything is possible. Here are a few tips that I find help me the most, and hopefully you’ll find a few to be useful to you as well.

1. Support System– Your support system is there to build you back up when life knocks you down. It could be fellow classmates, coworkers, family, or your boyfriend/girlfriend. They’ll always be in your corner, keeping you motivated and your mindset positive.

2. Ask yourself- Before sitting down with your employer, you should know for sure what needs to be done to keep you financially stable, yet also make you most successful. Will it be more important to work more hours to pay for school? Or will you be able to work weekends and focus more on your education? Which classes are more challenging, or require more attention? Plan ahead for these things, so that you are more mentally prepared and have less anxiety.

3. Sit down with Your Employer- Express to your boss that you are in college, and let him/her know what is more important. Most jobs are willing to work around the schedules of college students. Make sure your manager is aware of everything, and give them a physical copy of your schedule. Request time off accordingly, and for as far ahead as you can. If the semester is just starting, work off the dates on your syllabus. This will reduce the chance of conflict in your schedule, and neither you nor your boss will have to worry about last minute requests.

4. Stay Organized! – I cannot stress this tip enough! Being organized makes life in general easier. Once you’ve sat down with your employer, you should pretty much have all your important dates. Invest in a planner or dry erase calendar. (You could even use your smartphone!) By keeping all your activities, your work and school schedule and appointments filled in, you will never miss a beat. This will also help you easily identify the free time you have in between. You will definitely need the rest!

5. Study Frequently & Stay on Top of Assignments- The biggest mistake you can make in college is procrastinating. Preparation is key. Start studying ASAP- this way you never fall behind and you know the material like the back of your hand. Don’t let work become an excuse! Bring your school to work, if possible. Look over your notes on your break, or study flashcards while you’re on the bus. Every bit of effort you put in will show!

6. Be Thankful! – There are only 24 hours in a day, so don’t get down on yourself if you don’t get everything done. But be grateful! Getting an education and having a job is an opportunity that many people do not have. Keep your long term goals in mind when you feel like giving up. Stay motivated by celebrating ALL achievements, even if you only brought your D up to a C. Be proud of yourself, EVERY improvement is important.
These are my tips on how to deal with working and going to school. Thank you for reading, I hope you find some (or all) of these helpful!

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