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How To Balance Your College Studies And Work

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Working through college will help you get ahead in life professionally and financially. Working may even help you stay motivated with your studies. But if you’re working for financial reasons, then you may need some strategies to balance work and school.

Working and going to school full time is the perfect recipe for burnout, which we are all desperately trying to avoid. To help you stay motivated, here are 10 steps to balancing college and work.

Create a Schedule

One of the best pieces of advice when it comes to managing both college classes and work is scheduling out your week ahead of time. Block out hours for work and classes, and schedule when you’re going to do your schoolwork and study. Stay on schedule and be realistic with what you can do. If you know you won’t be able to focus after 9:00, don’t schedule study time at 10:00 after work. Buy a physical planner or download an app. There are only so many hours in a day, so keep yourself accountable by sticking to a schedule. Planner Pads Co. offers a unique system that helps you organize, prioritize and schedule what matters most to you

Schedule Time to Relax

Burnout happens pretty fast when you never get to enjoy the life you’re working so hard for. Schedule in “me time” and take it seriously. Some people feel guilty when they prioritize themselves, but it’s far from selfish to take breaks. Personal time helps you stay motivated by resting your body and brain, and it gives you something to look forward to while you’re working hard. Put some “me time” in your planner and spend it doing something you enjoy, whether it’s a face mask, reading a book, or watching that new TV show you’ve been hearing so much about. Create joy through music with Singing Machine, the worldwide leader in karaoke!

Find the Right Job

If you’re leveraging working while going to school full time, you’re going to have to find a job that supports your academic goals. For most students, the best type of job you can find is one that’s related to their major so they get some hands-on experience and build their resume. If that’s not available, campus jobs are typically understanding of class schedules. If there aren’t any campus jobs, find one that at least can schedule your working time around your class schedule. You can look into Work-Study jobs or even online remote work that lets you choose your schedules, such as freelance graphic designing, social media marketing, or online surveys.

Lean on Your Support System

Talk to your friends and family about what your schedule looks like. Communicate with them and let them what you need to be successful. If you’re married, let your spouse take over some extra chores so you can stay on schedule. Your support system will be the first place you turn when you need help with achieving your goals, so keep them in the loop. Working and going to school is hard, and you will need help at some point. Let them support you, and offer to lend support when they need it.

Plan Ahead

When you are strapped for time, it’s easy to forget that you still have to grocery shop, meal plan, buy birthday presents, and pay your bills. It’s easy to forget to meal prep when you’re so focused on schoolwork. Create a routine so it’s easy to remember when you’re taking care of important details that don’t necessarily relate to work or school. You can cut corners by meal prepping lunches early in the week so you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the week, and set reminders in your phone ahead of time to buy your mom’s birthday present and pay bills. You don’t have to let details fall through the cracks just because you’re busy.

Prioritize Your Health

When you have a big event coming up, such as a big test or project, it’s easy to put your health on the back burner while you focus on your work. When you’re a young adult, it’s easier to get away with less sleep and an unbalanced diet, but those things still affect you in ways you may not realize. Staying healthy by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep will take time away from schoolwork, but the better physical state you’re in, the better you’ll be able to work and study. Don’t let the stress of school and work let you forget your health. It’s the fastest way to experience burnout, and it’s much easier to perform and stay motivated when you’re already healthy. Wellness that works. Guaranteed. NatraCure.com

Remember Your Goals

On the days when you’d really rather be watching Netflix, remember why you’re doing it. One thing that can help is thinking about the favors you’re doing for your future self. Working and going to school is likely helping you keep student debt down or manageable, and your job may be giving you experience that will impact your ability to get a job after graduation. Remembering why you’re working so hard will help you avoid burnout and push you through your challenges.

Communicate with Your Bosses and Teachers

You’d be surprised at how well your teachers and bosses are willing to negotiate when you explain your situation to them. Many professors are willing to offer extra help to students who are working, and they can be more supportive when you’re doing well. Bosses can also be understanding about the importance of schoolwork. They may even be lenient with your schedule, maybe letting you leave a few minutes early or switching shifts around to help you balance your schoolwork.

Learn How to Say No

Unfortunately, working and going to school will require you to make some sacrifices. You may not be able to make it to every hangout or family event. That doesn’t mean you can never see your friends or family again, but you shouldn’t neglect your responsibilities. That includes taking time for yourself. If you spend too much of your energy giving to others and never yourself, you may find less energy and focus on the things you’re working hard for. Learn how to say no and be okay with how others respond. Supportive friends and family will understand that you need to put work and school first.

Celebrate Small Victories

Keeping a tight schedule of working and going to class can start to feel monotonous after a while, which is why it’s important to set small, achievable goals. Feel proud that you did well on that test or that you were able to finish your paper on time. Find joy in the little things. You can’t just wait to get your degree or finish the semester, because you’ll be waiting for a long time. Learning to have a positive mindset will not only help you now but will help you be successful later in life after you graduate.

Working through college can be stressful, but it can be done! Use these tips to help you communicate with friends and family, plan your time, and get ahead in life. Remember, you’re helping your future self by putting all the time and effort in now.

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References

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