How To Juggle Going to School While Having a Job
In every aspect of life, there is a balance between the important and the urgent. Balancing life with a job and school is no different. It’s a catch 22–you need to go to school to make money, but you need money to go to school. How are you supposed to make it work? First, decide which is more important to you: is work or school more important to you? Odds are that school is the more important factor. Let your job support your school work and not dominate it.
- Money: Let’s be honest–money is the main reason why you are working and going to school. It’s a strain to pay enormous tuition rates, cover living expenses, and have a little extra for gas and groceries. Being a student can be tough! There are some days where you have to sacrifice the food and activities that you want to stay within budget. If you are struggling financially, then look for scholarships, fundraisers, and ask or help. What you are doing is admirable. There is no shame in asking for help along this journey. Late
r on, you can return the favor by helping someone else in your position.
- Time Management: There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that we want to. You need to study, go to class, work, eat, have a social life, exercise, and have time or yourself. Life can easily become overwhelming. By blocking out your time and sticking to a schedule, you’ll be more successful in accomplishing all of your goals. Don’t forget to block out down time, too. Even though you may think you can keep going, the truth is that we all need some “me time”.
- Access Your Needs: Some people are better thinkers at night, while others are early morning people. Figure out where you fall, so you know when you work best. Study during your peak hours, and work at a job that doesn’t require intense problem solving. Data entry, administrative, and secretary work are excellent positions for part-time student workers. You can do meaningful work without taxing your brain. You’ll still have juice left in the tank to process all of the information that will be on the test next week.
- The Job: Find a job that works with your school schedule. If you have class every morning at 9am, then you can’t hold a position that requires you to clock in at 8am. Search around for flexible work that fits with your time-table. Freelance jobs and odd jobs are great ways to make quick money without the long-term commitment of traditional jobs.
- Rest: I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: rest. Make time to relax and do absolutely nothing. Turn your brain off and binge watch a show with friends. Do whatever recharges you. If you need to go on a peaceful kayaking trip, then do it. Block out time for it during your week so that you can come back refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of the week.
Juggling school with having a job is challenging, but not impossible. Make sure that what you are going to school for is something that you are deeply passionate about. Have an end-goal in mind so that you graduate with a career in mind. Work towards that goal with everything you have, and never take your eyes off the prize. All of your sacrifices will be worth it once you find your calling.