How Do You Balance School and Work?

A sizeable portion of college students need to work full-time to make ends meet. Most people who work full-time while attending college strive to find an equilibrium in their lives to achieve career and educational goals while maintaining a social life.

Splitting your attention between the demands of full-time job and a college education isn’t ideal, but it can be done by taking the necessary steps to set yourself up for success!

Let’s make some lemonade out of these lemons and take a look at these tips to help manage your commitments.

1. Prioritize

When you wear a lot of different hats, it can be easy to lose track of the varying responsibilities you have to juggle. One of the biggest questions you’ll want to answer is how much time you can devote to what tasks. This is where organization can play a crucial role. Know yourself and schedule a time to study at your most efficient work hours. Planners are extremely useful—it can be divided up by the day or by hours, making it easier to schedule time for studying.  

Time blocking is another technique that can help you prioritize your to-do list—by honestly scheduling the time necessary to complete each task, you are able to visually see what needs to get done and when.

If procrastinating has been your tendency in the past, it is advised to avoid it at all costs. Get stuff done right away—have a paper to write? Start writing it as soon as you can!

2. Communicate and Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help!

When it comes to balancing college and full-time work, communication truly is key. Having an open communication system with your managers and professors can help you. Be sure that you, your professors, and managers are all on the same page. More often than not, they will want to help you when you are feeling overwhelmed with your workload.

One of the most pivotal changes you can make is learning to ask for help when you are struggling academically as this may be an overwhelming time in your life. Tutoring services and talking to your boss and professors are valuable tools for fulltime working college students. 

3. Trust in Your Abilities and Take Care of Yourself

Consistently choose to believe in yourself— trust in yourself enough to believe that you can balance both work and your education, both are equally important. Trust the decision you made to take on both responsibilities. Trusting in yourself requires accountability which leads to one of the most important tips, caring for yourself.

Many fulltime working college students rely on energy drinks after a sleepless night from working on assignments to get them through the workday, however, it will burn you out. Something as simple as getting a good night’s sleep can make all the difference amidst your full day of tasks. When you sleep, your body refuels and prepares you for the next day. Lack of sleep makes it harder to focus and be productive. It is also recommended to schedule a time during your day to de-stress by doing something you enjoy. Whether its reading a book for 15 minutes or watching a show on Netflix. Allowing yourself to have a break every now and then will make you more efficient in your daily tasks.

4. Celebrate the Small Wins and Remember your Long-Term Goals

Earning your degree is a major accomplishment, however, don’t forget to celebrate all your small achievements along the way! Stop putting all your focus on big victories like completing an entire semester, instead, celebrate the “A” on your test or celebrate turning your paper in on time. When we set the bar for our expectations of success too high, we are more likely to quit when the going gets rough. Focusing on the small wins provides motivation and continued encouragement to keep achieving your goals.

In the moments when you feel like giving up or giving in, remember that “this, too, will end”. It is overwhelming. It is stressful. It is challenging. This lifestyle isn’t forever. Remember your goals. You are working hard to achieve them.

With work, school, and a social life all demanding attention, many people struggle with balancing and prioritizing different areas of their lives.

Feeling overloaded can damage your mind and body, and with the growing rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns, it is important to find healthy ways to deal with it.

Please call us today if you feel you need assistance. The therapists at Life Skills Resource Group offer a free phone consultation where you will have the opportunity to discuss your needs.

We can be reached at 407-355-7378.