One thing most people do not mention when talking about the college experience is working. At some point throughout your Undergrad time, you may need to pick up a side job. Whether it’s because you live off-campus and have to pay the bills, you’re paying for school by yourself, or maybe you just need money to blow on parties and clothes (which is totally fine!), you may find yourself trekking to work after classes. I want to let you all know that that is completely fine and that you can work and go to school and still have a life.
You’re probably asking, “Ok, but how do I do this?”. Time management is key. Set some time aside each week (it helps to write it in a planner) for the various things you may be into, whether it’s clubs, homework, studying, parties, friends, and even a romantic relationship. This is a lot easier said than done, of course. I sometimes find myself ditching my friends for homework or not going to a party to spend some down time with a boyfriend. The important part here is to at least set the goals and prioritize and also maybe not beat yourself up when one thing does not get done.
One thing I find from working and being in school is that I tire myself out easy. It’s not hard at all to set yourself up with so many commitments that you cannot handle them all. Instead of trying to dip your hand in every plate, pick the things that you are the most into and stick to just those things. You cannot be everywhere at every time so don’t spread yourself so thin. It’s ok to skip out on a party or not sign up for a club every now and then.
Once you start working (I recommend you do this as soon as you are hired), set the ground rules and schedule for your job to follow. Do not be afraid to let your boss know that you are in school and cannot simply be at work every day. At my job, I have days specifically marked off for class or as a day to do homework, study, or hang out. Also, do not be afraid to write your availability in. The worse way to tire yourself out is to work too many hours during the week where you do not have time to rest. With this being said, I only work a certain amount of hours a week so that I am not overexerting myself.
The most important thing about going to school and working is to remember to make time for you. It is super stressful being the working student, and letting that stress build up is not good for anyone. Maybe take a day off from everything and everyone and pull up Netflix and order a pizza or just do what makes you happy and relaxed. Remember to also get some sleep if you can. I often find myself getting home at almost midnight just to be up for a morning class the next day. Doing this once or twice a week may be fine, but every day is not good.
The last thing I want to say to you, working student, is that I applaud you. No matter what the reason for you working and going to school is, this is only making you a hard-worker and it shows responsibility. Not many people will not understand you, some may even complain, but at least you will have a little extra money in your pocket.