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Managing a Part-Time Job While Being a Full-Time Student

Being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t easy. When it comes to schoolwork, the number of assignments being assigned are at an all-time high and school has become super tough to manage. It takes a lot of perseverance to sit down and continuously complete lessons and quizzes, but trying to do so while maintaining a part-time work position requires even more strength. Having to manage your work schedule with all of your school-related tasks for the week can be challenging and can stress yourself out. Finding the perfect balance between schoolwork and paid work can be simple if you’re dedicated to making things work. I’m here to share some of my experiences being a part-time worker and a full-time student to help you succeed in doing the same.

During the first week of my job, things were tough. I really struggled to find that balance between school and work, and I found myself a little too focused on work. It’s especially tough during your training period at a new job because you’re required to know the ins-and-outs of the position. Trying to change from your work mindset to your homework mindset can take time, especially during your training phase. I found that during this training phase, doing as much schoolwork as possible before a shift can help to get most of the tough tasks out of the way. This way, while at work, training can be a priority. The time spent after my shifts is used for downtime because even though staying on top of your schoolwork is important, mental and physical health come first. As time goes on and you’re more comfortable with the amount of time you have before a shift, it gets easier to plan which tasks are more important and which tasks can most likely wait until you have time on a different day. Getting the most important tasks done before your shift can help to reduce stress levels while at work and can help with easing your mind from the constant stress of school.

Another issue that I experience being a part-time worker and a full-time student is being able to fully understand the concepts. Having a job is like having another course in school. You have content that you have to remember and tasks to complete. I find that it’s super important to reach out to your professors or instructors as soon as you have an issue with a class. I’m an individual that usually strays from contacting my professors for help, maybe because I’m a naturally shy person and feel like I can figure it out on my own, but I realized that it’s necessary to reach out when you have a job piled on top of your schoolwork. Professors are there to help and they completely understand if you have other commitments. It’s their job to make sure you’re learning the content that you signed up to learn. Both your schoolwork and job are priorities so it’s super important that you stay on top of the content for both!

Time management is key when you have two huge parts of your life colliding. The best advice I can give for those of you reading this is to stay on top of everything you have to do! Get things done as soon as possible but make sure that your tasks are completed effectively and done properly. Spend extra time on larger assignments and make sure that you’re understanding the content in each of your classes. When super committed to multiple things, it can be extremely easy to fall behind. This can cause everything to start falling apart, resulting in extreme amounts of stress. It will also cause you to be less motivated to catch up again.

If you feel like you’re able to manage a job and schoolwork at the same time effectively, then I say go for it! Just know that it can be tricky to get the hang of and it can take a toll on you. If managing all these commitments doesn’t sound like something for you, then maybe hold off on getting a job. If you need your job for financial reasons, then maybe take less classes. Just remember, mental and physical health come first, and if you ever find yourself in a situation where your health is being damaged as a result of being overworked, then it’s time to take some time off and focus on yourself. Overall, if you put your mind to it, you can do it! Just make sure you’re staying healthy and happy while doing so.

Alexandra Winter

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Alex is in her second year of kinesiology at Wilfrid Laurier University and is also minoring in psychology. She has been a writer for Her Campus for a couple of semesters now. Her hobbies include playing sports, listening to Harry Styles music, and rewatching Grey's Anatomy over and over again. She has a twin sister and 3 amazing pets who she loves very much.
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