If you’re like many students, you may have a part-time job while attending high school or college. You may be working to help your family pay the bills. You may be working because you need to save money for college. Or, you may be working so you have extra spending money to go out with your friends. Whatever your reason for having a part-time job, you might be struggling to balance school, work, and your personal life.
Just like anything new, it takes practice to do anything well. Here are some nine tips to help you balance school and your part-time job.
1. Know Your Limit
If you are already struggling to keep up with your studies, adding a 20 hour a week job is probably not the best option for you. For many students, it is will be a big adjustment adding any working hours to their schedule. Start slowly and take on extra hours only after you know you have enough time for your studies.
2. Choose a Flexible Job
There will be times during the school year when you will be busier than others. Choose a job that will understand that some weeks you might have to work a few fewer hours.
3. Know Your School Schedule
Teachers and professors will provide a schedule or syllabus at the beginning of the quarter or semester. Put big tests and paper due dates on your calendar and plan accordingly. Don’t over schedule during times when school have a lot of things happening.
4. Speak to Your Supervisor
Be honest with your supervisor about your school schedule. Supervisors will typically not understand when you call the day of your shift and say you cannot work because you have to study for a test. However, if you meet with your supervisor before the work schedule is made, the supervisor should be able to move things around to ensure you have the time off you need.
5. Work Ahead
If you have some extra time, look at your school schedule and start working ahead. Sometimes life happens and you may not be able to get the studying done that you had planned you would do. Read ahead or start working on that paper that is not due for a few weeks.
6. Avoid Time Wasting Activities
When you are attending school and working, you don’t have many extra hours in the day. If there are things you are doing with your day that are not necessary, consider cutting back on those things. This can include video games, social media, and just browsing online. You should not have to eliminate these things entirely, but put a priority on your studies.
7. Avoid Burn Out
Don’t go overboard and take on too much! When you are so focused on school and work, you can get burned out. Signs of being burned out can include poor academic and/or job performance. If your performance is starting to slip, you need to address it right away. Look at your schedule and see if you are working too much. If you are working too many hours, have a discussion with your boss. If you continue pushing yourself too hard, you may continue going down the wrong path.
No matter how much you are working and studying, you need to make sure you are getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to poor health, poor concentration, and poor performance. You need to take time for yourself to recharge and get the rest you need.
9. Seek Support
If you are having a hard time balancing your schedule, talk to someone. When you are too close to something, you might not even realize some of the things you can do that can help. Talk to your friends or parents about your schedule and see if they have any advice or words of encouragement.
Working a part-time job is something that many students do while attending school. It may not be easy to work and attend school, but it is manageable as long as you learn how to balance school and your part-time job.