Figuring out how to balance work and school is very important for students who are working their way through college. As just about anyone in that situation can tell you, there are times that it can be difficult to remain fully committed to both attending classes, and working full time, or even part time. Here are a few tips to help you stay focused as you work your way through school:
1. Learn and use good time management skills.
Time management skills are essential to learning how to balance work and school. By breaking up your day into segments, or by allotting yourself a certain amount of time for various things throughout the day, you will find that you should be able to handle life as a full time student and employee.
Start off by giving yourself ample time to sleep. You are going to be busy with class, homework, your job, and traveling to and from everywhere, so you need to be well-rested. From there, figure out how much time your classes will take and how much time work will take. Working around class and your job, schedule yourself enough time to study. Depending on how often you work or what your course load looks like, you should have at least a few hours a day to do whatever you want, and even more time on days you don't work. Time management apps can be helpful for keeping your schedule straight from day to day, and are available on both iPhone and Android phones.
2. Don't overexert yourself.
There is only so much that any person can handle, chances are that you probably cannot handle working a full time job, part time job, and taking 20 credit hours a semester all while expecting to still have a social life, for very long. If paying for college is your main priority, try cutting down on the class load and taking on a little bit of extra work. 1 extra semester at college is better than having a nervous breakdown, or having your health and/or grades negatively affected by stress.
You should always leave some time during the week for yourself. Even if it is just a couple of hours since everybody needs some down time. If you really can't find enough time in the day for yourself, it wouldn't be a bad idea to consider taking fewer classes, or working fewer hours.
3. Remind yourself of your goals.
Depending on what stage of college you are in, keeping your eyes focused on your goals may come easy towards the end, or it may look like a never ending road in the beginning. Either way, you need to stay motivated and working through college is a great way to do just that. You will be far less likely to take your classes for granted if you are paying for them with your own money that you make while you're in school.
Figuring out how to balance work and school will be different for everyone. Each person's individual goals, schedules, and well-being will play a part in determining what they can handle, and how they can strike the best balance between the two.
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