It’s hard being a student whilst working. Lots of people have been there and seen the struggles first hand on how difficult it can be. In your first year especially, it can be very tempting to immerse yourself in university life and completely forget about work. However, developing good work habits now rather than later will be very beneficial to you once you complete your degree.
Here are 3 tips and tricks on how to balance work life and uni:
1) Organize your time!
Being efficient with your timekeeping works wonders when you’re struggling to keep up with both university and work. You must remember that the 6 or so hours that you spent in class during secondary school isn’t the same as how much time you will spend working on your degree. University is harder so don’t squander away the precious hours that you could use to study.
At the same time, you need to have a look at how many hours you can commit to working a job. Being strapped for cash isn’t the greatest when you must pay for rent, food and any studying equipment. In fact, studies show 84% of university students have financial worries. However, it isn’t possible to manage 40 hours a week and still be able to make time for classes, studying and a social life. Look for part time work instead, ideally between 10 – 20 hours to properly balance everything out.
When you start your job, make sure to let your manager know that you go to university and make them aware of your schedule. The last thing you want is to be doing more hours than you intended to do or be working when you should be in class!
2) Dealing with stress!
If you’re working a job and attending university then things can start to become incredibly stressful. Trying to keep up with studying whilst keeping your boss happy with you is difficult; we know this, and many people have been there. However, there are many ways you can deal with this. The first being to not leave important work the night before a deadline.
It’s crucial that from the moment you receive an assignment, you plan everything out straight away. Planning out assignments, whether they are essays or physical projects means that you will understand the amount of work there is to do and will have an estimate of how long it will take to complete. It is incredibly important that you plan your work out effectively. By doing this, you will be able to organize the time you put into the assignment with the time you will be putting in at your job. It’s always a good idea to allocate slots during the day for when you are going to be working on it. To summarise this point; plan, plan, plan.
With regards to work, it’s always best that you let your manager know if you have any important assignments that have specific deadlines. That way, they will more likely be lenient when you need to change your shift times or maybe even give you less hours, so you can concentrate more on your university and in return, feel less stressed.
Last of all, always remember to take care of yourself. There are only 24 hours in a day and running around here, there and everywhere will only make you burn out. Learn that it is okay to unwind and relax every now and then to stop stress from creeping up. If you are still finding it difficult to deal with, then consider visiting your universities student services and have a chat with them.
3) Prioritise the important things!
As you will be paying thousands for each year you spend at university, you will want to get your moneys worth, right? So, try to prioritise attending classes and studying.
But hang on, you also have a job? Well that certainly needs prioritising too.
Yet what about your social life? You must go out, have fun and see friends!
It is understandable. It’s hard prioritising things that are important to you. But you need to have a look at what is the most important thing at a specific point in time. If you’re getting close to exam season, then it’s time for your social life to take a backseat. Keep the parties and socialising for after all your exams are over and get studying. You will thank yourself later when you get the grades that you were hoping for.
As for your job, it is going to be a hard to prioritise university over work. Obviously, your job is important; it keeps you afloat financially. As the previous points stated, talk to your manager about your exams and let them know your schedule. Hopefully, they will take into consideration that you are a student and will need to focus on your exams.
As you can see, work and university can be hard to balance if you are not sure on how to do it. But by using these 3 pointers, it should become easier for you to work out a schedule that fits you. Try these tips out for yourself and see the difference it makes to your work/studying schedule!