How To Balance a Full-Time Job With School

When my dream job opened up, I knew that I had to jump on the opportunity even though I wasn’t done with college. When I applied, I was a first-semester senior and I started working at the beginning of my second semester, a few months before graduation. During the application process, I was really concerned with how I would balance school, self-care and a full-time job in my last semester, and now that I’m a few months into my new schedule I’ll share some advice for anyone else who considers doing this.

 

  1. 1. Make your class schedule as light as you can

    As a second-semester senior, your class schedule is usually pretty light. I was lucky enough to only need 12 credits my last semester instead of the usual 16 that I had been taking. When looking at class options to work around your full-time schedule, you’ll need to consider what classes you still need to take and what time frames you’ll want to work during. My job is from 9-5, so I was trying to work around those parameters, but every job is different. Some class options to consider are night classes, online classes or taking an independent study with a professor. I was lucky enough to find an independent study which allows me to work on my own schedule and doesn’t interfere with my work hours.

  2. 2. Work in self-care time during the week

    One of the most important things to consider in all of this is how you’re going to take care of yourself and your mental health while working and attending school full-time. Everyone’s schedules are different, but I took light classes and am able to only do homework during the weekend to make time for self-care during the week. I find this really helpful because I don’t usually have to do homework after work and instead I can spend time with friends or do something else that would relax me after a long day.

  3. 3. Talk to your professors

    It’s important to let your professors and any group project members know about your schedule ahead of time, so that they can let you know if it poses a problem. Most group members will work around your schedule and be flexible, but some classes require you to attend events or office hours during times you may be working, which can cause an issue.

  4. 4. Consider work culture

    An important thing to consider in any job is work culture, but this is especially true when working full-time as a student. Make sure that you’re choosing an office where your co-workers and boss are supportive of your schedule and of the fact that you’re still in school!

  5. 5. Ask yourself if this schedule will work for you

    Once you’ve looked over your potential work and class schedules, the most important next step is to ask yourself if you think you’ll be able to handle the workload and the time commitment. Being really busy isn’t for everyone and that’s completely okay, but if you don’t think you’ll be happy with this lifestyle, even if only for a couple of months, be honest with yourself before applying to the job.