Students work a job while attending college classes for various reasons. Some students work part-time and while others tend to work full-time. Some use the money to help their parents pay for college. Others use it so they have some extra spending money for when they want to go out with friends. Whatever your situation is, balancing a job with college classes and homework is not always easy. Here are eight steps to help you in balancing a job in college.
Buy A Planner
Having your weeks and months planned out in front of your eyes makes your daily life much easier to carry out, especially when it’s a busy time of the year for you. I personally prefer to use a planner, but many people I know also use the calendar app and reminder app on their iPhones to plan out their days.
If you are new at planning, I suggest that you take each syllabus from all of your classes and write down all of the due dates for assignments and exam dates. It will make it easier to figure out what days and hours you are able to work to each week. This is one of the best ways for balancing a job in college.
Find A Flexible Job
Some jobs require more out of you than others. Make sure you are informed about the position you are accepting before you decide to take it. If you are going to school at a university, one avenue for a flexible job is finding a job on your school’s campus. They know that being a student is your first priority and they are usually more willing to work with you on your schedule.
If you are living at home and going to a community college, I suggest finding a restaurant that is flexible with their scheduling. Restaurants are usually a little easier to work in because they can be more flexible with their hours. However, if you find another place to work, say a grocery store, then make sure they are willing to work with you on your hours.
Communicate With Your Boss
Having a strong relationship with your boss is important as a college student. During your job interview with them, it’s important to be honest and let them know that you are also a full time student and that there may be instances where you have to take off work for school. They will appreciate the honesty and be more willing to work with you in the future if there is a conflict between your work schedule and class schedule.
Work Ahead In School
Once you have written all of your due dates in your planner, start looking at what assignments you can start ahead of time. Once you get ahead, it’s less stressful to balance school and work. If you let yourself procrastinate and fall behind, you might find yourself missing social opportunities or extra shifts at work. Even worse, you might fail or forget an assignment.
Schedule Days Off Of Work ASAP
If you know that you have a big exam coming up or a project due, make sure you let your boss know ASAP! They will appreciate you not waiting till the last minute. It’s all about working hard and thinking ahead. If you are at a workplace that is a little more strict about you taking time off, talk to your coworkers instead and see if you can swap shifts with them, then tell your boss.
Avoid Wasting Time When It Counts
It’s totally understandable to want to have some down time here and there while balancing a job in college. We would get burnt out if we didn’t. However, if you are in the middle of a really busy time of your semester, try your best to avoid wasting time on Netflix and social media. There are apps out there that will help you stay off your phone if you need that extra help. Make your free time count by studying for that midterm or final exam. Once all of that is over, go crazy and enjoy a few episodes of your favorite Netflix TV show.
Make Sure You Sleep
Balancing a job in college can be exhausting. Do not overdo it. Make sure you schedule sleep in your planner because not getting enough of it can be detrimental to your health. Sleep is what helps you stay focused in class the next day. You CAN NOT get sick or else your job might not let you work, especially if you’re in the restaurant industry. That being said, make sure you are catching enough Zzzs. Sometimes getting sick is unavoidable, so just make sure you are really trying to take care of yourself the best you can.
Consider Online Classes
If you do all of the above steps and still struggling to balance going to a traditional classroom and then going to work, then I suggest looking into online classes. Having online classes makes it easier to work during the day instead of at night. It is 100 percent your responsibility to make sure you are staying on top of your classes. If you are a self-motivated individual, then this might be a viable option for you.