Ultimate Guide to Balancing a Part-Time Job and School
Moving to college and being on your own is an exciting and growing experience, but that also means not being able to ask your parents for $20 every so often.
Many college students take up a part-time job to cover expenses like going out to a movie with your friends or paying dues for clubs or Greek life. The difficult thing is balancing a part-time job and school at the same time.
Luckily, we have made the ultimate guide to balancing working a part-time job and going to school full time!
The most important skill to have when working a part-time job and going school is good time management. You should make a schedule and try your best to stick to it.
Buy yourself a calendar or an agenda to keep track of meetings, shifts, and when papers and projects are due. It’s easy to let an assignment slip through the cracks when you are running between classes and work. One of my favorite things is to make a “to-do” list and prioritize each one and put the day I will complete it.
School Assignments and Due Dates
If you know you have a busy week coming up with an unusual increase in hours at work, ask your professor for the assignments a few days early if he hasn’t given them out already. Always look at your syllabus schedule to see if there are any hefty readings scheduled for that week. If there are, try to get them done during the weekends or space it out over a couple of days so you aren’t cramming in a 50-page reading the night before.
Don’t procrastinate! I can’t stress this enough. It’s easy to put off things that you don’t want to do, but it’s important to prioritize assignments and get them done early if possible!
Keep in mind that most professors are down to earth and understand the struggles of being a college student. It never hurts to ask for an extension on an assignment, as long as you ask in advance, not the night before it is due. Explain the situation or show them your schedule.
Find a part-time job with flexible hours. If you find a job on campus, see if you can work a couple of hours between classes or a few hours in the morning before your first class. If you are working for a private business off-campus, make sure you give yourself enough time for travel and eating lunch between shifts and classes.
Communicate with Your Supervisor
Talk to your supervisor or manager about your class schedule and your workload. If you make them aware that you are a college student with other responsibilities, they will be more willing to work with you on making your hours fit nicely into your schedule. When you have an exam or important assignment due one week, let your supervisor know and ask if you can work more hours one week and less another.
Set Your Goals
Why are you taking this part-time job? Is it for some extra money or to make connections and advance in a career you would like to pursue after you graduate? No matter what the reason, always keep your goals in sight. This will keep you motivated and won’t make you feel like working is a waste of time.
You also never know whom you are going to meet. Even if you are working as a barista, you may meet someone that works for your dream company. Always remember you can make connections everywhere and anywhere.
Consider taking online courses instead of going into a classroom every other day. When you take an online class you can sit in your room, still in your pajamas, and learn exactly what you would learn in a classroom. This can take the stress off of balancing a part-time job and school because you don’t have to rush to campus in time for class.
Bring School to Work
Depending on your part-time job, you may have some downtime that allows you to work on school assignments. Bring your book and flip through a few pages or outline that paper you’ve been thinking about. Just make sure your manager or supervisor doesn’t mind beforehand.
Make Time for Yourself
Working a part-time job and going to school can be a lot to handle. It’s easy to get mixed up in it all and forget to make some time for yourself. It’s okay to lay in bed for an hour or two to watch Netflix or sit and have a cup of coffee with a friend and forget about your responsibilities. It’s important, and healthy, to relax and enjoy life.
Ask for Help
Ask for help if you need it. If you find yourself struggling and becoming overwhelmed, ask your professors or manager for help. You can ask your friends for help too. If having a messy apartment or dorm room makes you anxious and overwhelmed, ask your roommates to help you out by picking up their things. People you meet while in college are here to help you succeed in anything and everything you do, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
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