School on it’s own is a real struggle, then add on the issue of work and you’re dealing with a whole new game. But that’s the reality for some of us. Balancing work and school is no easy task but there are a few things you can do to make your life a little less work and a little more play.
It’s important to go into a school and work situation with realistic expectations. Know your limits, how much can you honestly take on before one area starts to lack? If school is your top priority then make sure you look for a job that fits into your class schedule and has flexible hours to work with in case school related things come up. In the case that work is your priority, try to plan your schedule around your work hours and make a real effort to attend classes. It won’t benefit you to be both a student and employee if you are not able to give both roles the amount of attention required.
The key to mastering both roles lies in time management. A skill that is invaluable in conquering the work and school balance as well as many other areas of life. Taking on work and school is a task and will require more time and energy than just one or the other, so it’s important to utilize your time efficiently.
Attend work and classes and make sure to be present, failing to do so will put you in a game of catch up and leave you with more on your plate. Prioritize your tasks from there; make to-do lists and follow through with them, procrastination is not your friend.
Ashley Devers, Junior Business major and bookkeeper of Clean Bees, testifies to this, “Don’t let yourself get behind. I have to make sure to stay ahead on my schoolwork so that things don’t get too overwhelming.”
Plan ahead; set time aside for assignments and other important due dates, making a plan of attack will let you balance your time with more ease. Don’t let distractions hold you back; if you have the tendencies of a short attention span, make sure to remove yourself from the distractions and focus on the task at hand. If that means isolation then do it, look at it as some ‘me time.’
Are you still not sure of your time-management abilities? Lucky for you, TILT on campus offers multiple workshops on topics like time-management, motivation/goal-setting and even concentration techniques. Classes are free and drop-in friendly, so what do you have to lose?
Now as beneficial as realistic expectations and time management are, the most important tip I can give lies in your happiness. Balancing work and school would be much easier if you truly enjoyed both. I know it’s been said before, but there is some merit to the saying ‘love what you do and you won’t work a day in your life.’ Choose a job that interests you and excites you and a major that challenges you and inspires you. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it and you will achieve that ideal balance of work and play.
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