Being a university student means having an incredibly hectic to-do list. Adding a part-time job to this is not ideal, and looking for one is probably not your favorite hobby. Unfortunately, with school loans, rent to pay, and groceries to buy, it’s a simple fact of life for many of us.
Managing it all can be a little less daunting with some clever strategizing. Read these tips for mastering the dual life, and fighting off any unwanted tears and stress in the process.
1. Location, location
Trying to find a balance between hours of studying and hours of working can drive a girl mad. The last thing you need is to spend more of your precious time actually getting to work. Look for a job on campus or somewhere relatively close to home. Minimizing commuting time will save you hours over the course of the year that could have gone to studying or kicking back after all the hard work. Learning to optimize your time is crucial.
2. Balancing act
It’s important to strike a healthy balance between school, work, and down time. Really weigh the demands of your classes, and figure out how many hours of work you can safely manage on top of that. Give yourself some breathing room in between as well, in case of assignment disasters. Creating a manageable schedule for yourself, and not piling on too many other commitments, will cut down on your stress and allow you time to recuperate.
3. Sleeping Beauty
If anything threatens to topple your careful balancing act, it will be sleep deprivation. As promising as pulling that all-nighter may seem to getting everything done, DON’T believe it. In the long run, you will accomplish more if you are well rested and full of energy. If you sleep well and eat right, you’ll be able to use the free time you have efficiently. No napping for you!
4. Plan ahead
Sure, we may promise to give up our procrastinating ways with the start of the fresh school year, but let’s be honest: procrastination is not something you give up cold turkey. You will certainly procrastinate again and again. Write out assignment deadlines and exam dates on a calendar so you can at least take a swing at getting ahead. Having a visual of your semester as a whole will allow you to better communicate with your manager about how many shifts you think you can handle during exams, and near assignment deadlines. Come crunch time, you’ll have saved yourself some unwanted tears and stress.
5. Make the most of time
When it comes to managing your work and school life (and protecting your sanity in the process), time is of the essence. Look at every spare moment as a chance to flip a few more pages of that painfully dry textbook that you otherwise wouldn’t read in your free time. If you use those few minutes before class to chip away at the more dreadful work you have to get done, you can spend your longer study hours on more important and enjoyable things. Master the art of studying efficiently, and you’ll have things done before you know it.
It may take time, but once you become accustomed to the working-student lifestyle, finding your own ways to manage will come hand in hand. Most importantly, don’t stress. Instead, have a plan to work through it. You’ll have the balancing act down in no time.