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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Howard chapter.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, I was adamant about not working during college. My parents were also convinced I would get enough scholarships, so I wouldn’t have to get a job. I kept applying for scholarships and never got chosen. It got to a point where I needed to pay my tuition, and getting a job was the only solution. My school schedule was set up so that I had free periods after 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The solution I came up with was to work overnight. My first job during the pandemic was an overnight shift at Amazon during the spring semester of my sophomore year. I only worked three days a week and didn’t have to work Sundays. Since we were online, I could listen to lectures on the bus to work. 

One of the best ways to balance school and work is to find a job with flexible hours or where you can work three-four days, with minimum hours. My current job works around my school schedule, and my manager continuously checks with me about my schedule and any conflicts that arise. Finding a position where the manager or leadership understands that you are a full-time student is a must because they can work with you during finals and midterms. When working, it is essential to know that you will most likely have to work weekends. When making your work schedule, it’s always good to mark off one day when you are unavailable, and these days will be your catch-up day for school work. 

Making a study schedule is crucial. If you work mornings, make time in the evenings to sit down and study, and vice versa if you work closing shifts. Save your PTO; I use my leave for midterms, finals and days when I know I would want a break from work. Also, remember to make time for your friends. Don’t be a busybody all the time. I sometimes let work and school drain me to the point where I don’t want to go out. My friends remind me to take a break and have fun. Having a good social life, school life, and work balance will make you stress lessed. Prioritize what needs to be done first and find space to do what you want. Most of all, if a job does not respect your set schedule and your requests, move on to the next one that does.

School comes first, and then work– get that degree!

Hello, my name is Damali Danavall, I am a Junior, Biology and Criminology double major, and Chemistry minor from Atlanta, GA. I currently attend Howard University.