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How To Balance A Job In College In 8 Easy Steps

How To Balance A Job In College In 8 Easy Steps

People think that it's too difficult for students to maintain a job while in college. Here are 8 easy steps to balance a job in college.

Having a job while going to school is great for so many reasons. It not only teaches you time management skills, but it also feels good to earn a little spending money for spending while in college or saving for after college. When I arrived on Emerson’s campus at the beginning of last year, I knew that I wanted a job since I had been working at home and wanted to keep receiving a steady income. But, juggling work, classes, extracurriculars and a social life is a lot to handle, especially as a college freshman. These eight tips will give you an idea of how it’s possible to balance a job in college!

Tip number one: Apply on campus

I worked two on-campus jobs during my freshman year, which made it so much easier to balance them with my school life. One of my jobs was in the same building I lived in, which was convenient and time-saving when my schedule was tight. I had a few friends who worked off campus, but many found it more difficult to fit work into their busy schedules since they had to account for travel time to and from. Emerson has so many student jobs available that are so easy to apply for that you’ll surely find something of interest. This will make it much easier to balance a job in college!

Tip number two: Work somewhere with a lot of other employees

This is a similar tip to the first one, but find a job that a lot of other students are doing. This way, you know your employer is familiar with the busy life of a full-time student and can accommodate the schedule accordingly. Additionally, you’ll have co-workers in the same boat as you who may be able to cover your shifts if you run into conflicts.


Tip number three: Cover or pick up extra shifts when you can

The best way to have people cover for you when you have a scheduling conflict is covering for them when you’re available. You don’t want to be that coworker who’s always looking for a cover in the group chat without ever helping anyone else out. Also, picking up extra shifts shows that you’re a hard worker and will earn you a little extra money for the week.

Tip number four: Know your availability before you apply for jobs

A lot of times during a job interview, the employer will ask you about your availability. Don’t fall into the trap of telling them you’re available “whenever” or “all the time” to sound better in your interview; if they want to hire you, they’ll generally work around your schedule. Make sure you know your class schedule and other commitments before you go into an interview, so you can make sure that the job will fit into your schedule without conflicts or being too overwhelming.

Tip number five: Use a planner to keep track of everything you’re doing

This can be either a paper planner, a spreadsheet, or an app. I personally just use my iPhone calendar as my planner and it worked super well last year. Balancing your time between class, work, and any other commitments is a lot easier when you can physically see your schedule in front of you. Color coding also helps; I had a different color for class, work, appointments, sorority meetings, newspaper meetings, and personal commitments. This is also helpful if you’re asked to pick up or cover a shift since you can easily check your availability and avoid overbooking yourself.


Tip number six: Do your homework during any downtime at work

A lot of campus jobs have significant downtime where you can work on whatever you want. Take this time to do your homework! I am a huge procrastinator, so I usually didn’t want to work on homework or other responsibilities during my free time away from work and class. I took the extra time I had at work to be productive which saved me a ton of time after work in the long run. By doing this, you’ll also be able to enjoy your free time more than if you had to spend it doing homework while being able to balance a job in college.

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Tip number seven: Don’t be afraid to ask for time off

I know this can be hard, especially when starting a new job. However, it’s important to remember that your school work, mental and physical health all come before a job though. If you really just need a break, talk to your supervisor. They understand that you’re a full-time student trying to juggle a lot at the same time, and they’ve probably even been in the same position themselves.


Tip number eight: Don’t overwork yourself

I think everyone is guilty of this at one time or another, I know I am. It’s okay not to take every shift that needs to be filled or work every day of the week. Working while in college shouldn’t be physically or mentally draining, and if it is then it’s time to reevaluate your job.

Do you have any more tips on how balance a job in college? Tell us in the comments! 

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