People often associate university with fun, partying, and carelessness. But the reality is more serious. In fact, college is where many of us get our first job. Motivation to work can be different – some want to be independent of their parents, others need to get as much valuable experience as possible.
It is certainly not easy to devote yourself to studying while having a busy work schedule. At some point, life takes on a shocking pace, and you may start thinking: what if I aim to do the impossible?
However, we are sure that a balance between college and work can be found – just follow our tips.
Plan and Prioritize
To manage it all, you need a strategy – in other words, a to-do list. There’s no need to keep everything in your head. Get a schedule in any form you like: both a reminder app and a paper notebook will do.
First, prioritize job responsibilities: tasks that will bring the most results and the most urgent projects. As for your studies, the to-do list must contain the most significant papers of the semester – without them, it’s impossible to complete the course. Then come the assignments with approaching deadlines.
Next, combine the priority lists and determine the time required to complete each task. A carefully crafted plan will help keep the situation under control.
Be ready – you may feel the temptation to postpone the assignments until another day. But with this attitude, you will accumulate not only a whole heap of unfinished tasks, but also a mix of stress and anxiety. Doing everything on time and systematically is the key.
Track Your Time
Let’s face it, there are times during the day when we aren’t doing anything useful. Whether it’s waiting in line or taking the bus, the brain isn’t focused on anything serious.
If you wonder how to manage college and work, try to use these moments to your benefit. Download a lecture to listen to it on the road or get some study help while drinking tea before bed.
To realize what you are spending time on, try writing down all your activities for three days. Then add together all the minutes (or hours) you were wandering around the house, lying on a couch, or lounging in the bathtub. There is no need to give up all habits at once – just optimize them.
It’s obvious that it will be much easier to combine work, study and personal life if all the places are close to each other.
If it takes a couple of hours on a bus to get to work, or you ride your bike till you’re completely exhausted, then your resources may run out sooner than you think. Fortunately, it’s easy to outsource your assignment to paper writers in case you’re too tired to work on it on your own. Remember, your health, both physical and mental, is a priority.
Your Employers Should Know You’re A Student
Many companies offer students internships, after which they can work there full-time. If you started your journey with such an internship, it’s great. Employers and colleagues are likely to understand that you may be a few minutes late for work because of a lecture.
By the way, as your study progresses, you will be able to devote more time to your job responsibilities since the number of lectures will gradually decrease.
It is recommended to start working during the summer holidays. First, it will make it easier to get used to the new surroundings as you won’t have to worry about assignments from school. Secondly, by the time the semester begins, the accumulated experience will make it possible to combine study and work without extra stress.
Use Work Experience In Your Studies And Vice Versa
Some professors ask students to make presentations about their experiences in a particular field (especially if it coincides with the college major).
You can provide your group mates with a broader perspective and inspire them with your example. You can include in the presentation lots of things, from the necessary competencies to land an interview, the meaning of specific work projects to the challenges and prospects in the sphere.
Ask the professor if your quarterly report can be used as a topic for a term paper. Sometimes, lecturers are excited about such experiments.
At the same time, college knowledge can help you in your work. Have you found out about an interesting theory? Then check it out in practice. You will be surprised to see how many ideas can be helpful in any job.
Working in an office or anywhere else with a clear daily schedule isn’t the only way to make a living. Trying to understand how to manage time in college and work, many students turn to freelance.
There are many advantages: you are absolutely free to organize your day as you wish (perhaps you’re a night owl and feel more productive in the late evening). You can also determine the level of the workload and choose projects depending on your schedule.
It’s pleasant to think that we have limitless potential, but in fact, the brain gets tired rather quickly. Schedule your activities having in mind how long you can focus on a task and the time you need to have some rest. For example, study for 45 minutes straight, exercise for 15 minutes, then study again for another 40 minutes.
Moreover, set realistic goals. For example, not “Today I’ll learn half of a French textbook”, but “I’ll learn three paragraphs, but I’ll do it well.”
Keep Up the Motivation
Surely, there will be moments when it will seem that everything around is too much to handle. Is there a solution? Yes! Remind yourself why you started what you are doing now. At least, you will save yourself from the endless circle “I can’t find a job, because I need experience, and to get experience, I need a job”.
Think about the pros like the fact you will have your own source of income, new contacts, and improved soft skills such as time management, flexibility, and stress resistance.
Mind Chatting With Colleagues
Let’s face it, we’re not always productive at work. A certain amount of time is spent on conversations about the weather and TV shows. Even if you’re not a gossip fan, are you sure you are using your time wisely? Are you wasting time on useless Internet surfing, or drinking too much coffee in the kitchen? Observe yourself and draw conclusions.
Find a Compromise
When telling your employers you’ve got an important test or exam, offer an alternative solution. For example, before leaving work early, suggest staying at the office for the same number of hours the next day. Besides, you can work several weekends a month, shorten your lunchtime, or finish some projects at home.
Sometimes, you have to compromise with yourself too. Imagine being invited to a Friday night party while you have plans to spend weekends preparing for a serious event or exam. Find another option to socialize and not end up sleeping most of Saturday instead of studying.
Why not invite your friends to gather at your place for a pizza? This will definitely not take up a lot of time and energy.
Is There A Room For Peace?
Whatever achievements and ambitions motivate us, we all need a pause sometime to keep the balance and have some rest.
The most basic steps to relax are to have 7-8 hours of sleep, good nutrition, and at least one physical activity. Try journaling to listen to your inner voice. And don’t forget that even robots can’t be productive 24/7 as everyone needs to recharge. Every second of rest will help give you the strength to move on.
It can be difficult to follow all of these principles at once, but it’s okay to start small. When you successfully integrate one rule into your daily life and make it a habit, take on the next. Two factors are important: good planning and understanding why you are doing it.