Many students are well-aware of the struggle of balancing a part-time or often a full-time job alongside their studies. Most universities encourage students to take up work and often provide opportunities to earn some extra bucks for pocket expenses. Several students are also motivated to work during their university years to gain some experience and amp up their resumes before entering the professional job market. However, managing a job and maintaining grades tends to become a daunting task where students frequently struggle to balance their work, social life, and education. With that said, if you’re in a similar situation, these eight tips might help you strike Your Studies With A Job:
1. Create a schedule
The first step to creating a schedule is to prioritize tasks. A general rule of thumb is to schedule the most critical task first as the mind and body are both energized and prepared for a challenge. Similarly, save the easiest and less demanding tasks for the evening. Maintaining consistency with schedules may feel challenging at first, but allow yourself some margin of error. Having a plan as a mental guide for the day takes off a lot of uneasiness and provides a sense of control over the rest of your day.
2. Switching to an online degree
People often look for jobs to afford to pay for tuition fees and reduce the financial burden of student debt. Under such circumstances, it often becomes difficult to keep up the grades with a permanent job. Students in medical schools often find themselves facing similar struggles. Switching to an online degree is a more practical approach, especially with courses such as msn to DNP online that provide a certified degree without the hassle of attending in-person classes.
3. Amalgamate educational learning with the job
The job market is exceptionally competitive and continuously demands improvement. An excellent way to work on your skill level is to integrate learnings from your courses and apply them to your job. While most students may not find jobs directly related to their educational expertise, research, writing, and presentation skills can be used in any industry, even if the course material may not be directly transferrable. This way, students can increase their productivity even when they are busy taking classes or studying for assessments.
4. Explore alumni networks
Students fail to value the importance of guidance and proper mentorship. Often students forget that other students might also be struggling through similar issues and may have worked on possible solutions to deal with the problems at hand. Here’s where alumni networks become useful as they can connect you with other students who have gone through similar struggles and emerged stronger. Alumni are often in a better position to guide and suggest workarounds for striking the perfect work-study balance.
5. Set tighter deadlines for yourself
A common approach taken by students is to dedicate bigger chunks of their day to a specific task. Parkinson’s law encapsulates this phenomenon and argues that work expands to fill the time made available to it. Instead of scheduling three hours for a 2-hour job, Parkinson’s Law suggests that students assign themselves shorter and tighter deadlines for tasks. This would result in increased productivity and free up extra hours for students in their day.
6. Plan ahead
Students tend to plan for just a day ahead on average. A more intelligent approach would be to keep a personal calendar and mark out any essential days or events in the upcoming week that would require your presence or attention. This way, you will not be overwhelmed when important work simply ‘pops up’ out of nowhere. You can reduce the anxiety of delivering tasks on time if you adequately plan work time and leisure time.
7. Maintain a social life
Human beings are social animals and university years are crucial for socializing as the networks tend to be incredibly beneficial for our future selves. Spending quality time with family and friends should be a priority and not a chore since it directly impacts your mental well-being. Focusing too much on work and academics can take a toll on you as it comes at the cost of compromising our social needs and responsibilities. However, the key is to know when to participate or refuse an activity that may hinder your academic or professional progress.
8. Take days off once in a while
Students tend to become intimidated when the pressure of work and academic life starts to pile up. Watching several deadlines approach often results in feeling overwhelmed and experiencing self-doubt. Suppose you find yourself in similar circumstances, and it starts to negatively affect your mental and physical health. In that case, don’t hesitate to take a day off. Even a short walk around the block or an hour in the gym works magic to boost one’s morale and return lost focus. Humans are not robots, and it would be unfair for anyone to expect them to perform that way. Changing your environment during your day off is key as sitting at home all day doing nothing might lead to counterproductive results with an enhanced feeling of guilt.
While all of these tips may not apply to every individual trying to balance professional and academic goals, the principles will come in handy in some form or the other. Effective time management is an on-going process and demands consistency regardless of the pressure levels. Therefore developing a habit early on sets the course straight for future success.