Did you happen to start a job over the summer and are trying to keep it going into the new school year? Maybe it’s your first year of college and you need a way to get groceries and pay rent. Whatever the case may be, balancing school and a part-time job can be extremely challenging but, it sure doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of finesse you can ensure you’re achieving your school goals while making ends meet, here are some of our best ways to make it happen.
Time management is key when it comes to balancing school and work. It’s important to create a schedule that allows you to prioritize your studies while still being able to work enough hours to make ends meet. Most professors will tell you to study twice the time spent in class (I.E. 1 hour of class = 2 hours of studying). By no means are we telling you this is wrong, in an ideal world this would be the best way to ensure success in the classroom. However, the pathway to this can be a bit trickier with a job.
We recommend keeping a calendar that not only has your work schedule but includes time for studying. That way it’s not a gamble of “When am I going to find the time to study for X class”. It takes out a lot of stress because if you plan it, you know when you’ll have to study.
Additionally, figure out how much you should make and how often you should be working on a monthly basis to make ends meet. The majority of stress comes from the unknown. If you know your work schedule is solid, and you have the hours you need, then there’s less to worry about. Just make sure you plan out a day or two extra just in case you end up missing a shift!
Communication with Your Boss
Another key to balancing school and work is to communicate with your boss. Let your boss know that your studies are a top priority (not that the workplace isn’t either!). A good boss (particularly one hiring college students) will understand and help accommodate your schedule. Additionally, if you’re struggling to balance your job and your studies, talk to your boss about reducing your hours or taking a break.
As a general rule of thumb, communication in the workplace is the best way to earn big. It shows your managers that you respect them and will help you get the support you need (everyone wins!). If you’re intimidated by talking to your boss no worries, we’ve all been there before. Check out this great resource on how to effectively communicate your needs to your managers.
Taking Care of Yourself
Balancing school and work can be stressful, so it’s important your mental and physical health is taken care of.
“But if I’m doing work and school when will I find the time??”, the reader said, frustrated.
We hear you.
The simple truth is that it won’t be easy but that’s what school and, ultimately the working world, is all about. It comes down to taking the initiative to make the time for what you need and what you want. Our rule? If you feel like you need to do something, make the time by moving plans around. Have a regular game night but feel like you need to work out? Maybe cancel game night and use that time to work out. Missing out on time with friends and family? Cancel the workout. You won’t get everything you want but, by making these tough choices, you’ll get what you need.
Balancing school and a part-time job can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. With good time management, communication with your boss, and taking care of yourself, you can find a balance. Remember, your education is important, but so is your financial stability. By finding a balance, you can set yourself up for success both in school and in your future career.
Check out our blog for more helpful tips and resources for students!