7 Tips to Help You Balance Work and School

Students consume their time doing the following responsibilities: studying, working and taking care of their personal lives .

Balancing all these responsibilities carries risks. If not done properly, working a part-time job as a student may lead to stress, lower grades, and more.

Therefore, it is important to mitigate the risks involved with balancing work and school. This article lists some tips to help you make the most of your situation.

1. Increase your work hours incrementally

A lot of students commit to an unbearable work load right from the start.

It is usually beneficial to build your work schedule gradually. For example, I rarely recommend working during the first half of your freshman year. In this way, the time required to pass your exams will not surprise you.

Once you are acclimated to academia, you will have a good sense of how to manage your studies. It is then easier to plan your class and work schedule.

2. Plan your class and work schedule efficiently

Carefully plan your school and work schedule so that everything flows together efficiently.

Working students often have both workplace and school flexibility. Take advantage of your flexibility to reduce the number of commutes between your workplace, your school, and your home.

It goes without saying that you can also use your gap hours to study. Losing an hour here and there quickly adds up.

3. Seek support from your family and friends

It can be really tough to manage work, school and housework at the same time. Your family and partner may offer support at home by taking on domestic tasks.

Classmates can also offer some sort of support: moral support. Since they struggle as much as you are, they can reassure you – your situation is perfectly normal.

4. Let your employer know that you are a student

The sooner you let your employer know that you are a student, the sooner he will be willing to make accommodations.

It can be really hard to manage both school and work at the end of your semester. And, most employers understand that students need to take time off from work to study their finals. So provided that you schedule your leave in advance, there is a good chance that you will get what you asked for.

5. Manage stress levels

Stress is an inevitable part of being a working student. However, too much stress has negative effects: sleepiness, loss of interest, irritability. The following article explains it in more detail: 11 signs and symptoms of too much stress – Healthline.

It is therefore imperative to keep your stress in check. Here are some essentials that you can’t skip:

  • Staying physically active
  • Sleeping enough
  • Taking regular breaks
  • Eating healthy

More on this subject: How to keep stress in check – American Psychology Association.

6. Avoid distractions and stay focused

It is important to make the most of your study and work hours. And distractions take you away from what you are supposed to do. 

Here are some tips to avoid distractions and stay focused while you are studying:

  • Shut down your smartphone – it is so easy to get distracted by a call or a Facebook notification.
  • Change subjects – if you are studying the same subject repeatedly, your attention span will go way down.
  • Consider listening to music that has no words – otherwise you will struggle to stay focused.
  • Chose the right place to study – Most people like a quiet place that is neither too cold nor too warm.

7. Consider online classes

In recent years, universities have published thousands of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). It gives the students the opportunity to work from home. This can be a great way to reduce the number of commutes and save some precious time.

Editorial note

Whether you are studying in college or in high school, holding on a job carries significant risks to your mental health and academic performance. So getting a job isn’t a decision you should take lightly.

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