Wondering how to balance work and school? This guide will help you manage both fronts efficiently.
Money is an obvious factor driving students to work while in school. Whether it is a full or part-time job, the thrill and challenges are the same. In fact, most students are so caught up with balancing work and school that they fail to notice that they are struggling.
Don’t get me confused. Working while in school might be challenging but it has its benefits. For example:
Some jobs offer health benefits to their employees
Working while in school gives you an added advantage over other students, it adds to your skills and knowledge.
Balancing work and school teaches you time management, multi-tasking, and organization.
The work experience helps the student secure a job in an organization after graduation.
5 struggles students face when working
On the other hand, no one speaks about the burnout that the student experiences. Perfectly balancing work and school life is not easy. The following are some of the greatest challenges that working students face.
1. No free time
Students who work as they study are always busy. Trying to balance work and school includes managing two schedules, trying to meet deadlines, and completing tasks and assignments. Therefore, they never have enough time to do anything else outside their studies and job. The constant stimulation leads to exhaustion, and ultimately, burnout. Furthermore, it gets difficult to track everything at once unless there is a system in place.
2. Difficulty maintaining motivation
Balancing work and school take up a lot of energy. When the body and mind are constantly exhausted and stimulated, you will experience burnout. The mind and body cannot operate at 100% for a long time. When your energy reduces, you will feel demotivated.
3. Lack of discipline
Having to stay up all night studying or doing an assignment or work task after working or reading throughout the day is not practical. Most students end up lacking the willpower and motivation to keep going. Resisting the urge to jump in bed immediately when you get home is a big struggle that most students fail most times.
4. Isolation and loneliness
Since most of your time is taken up by balancing your work and school life, your personal life gets ignored a lot. Most students rarely have enough time to unwind with their loved ones or rest. Their schedules have no room for social events and this makes them feel lonely and isolated from the rest of the world.
5. Health-related issues
Stress, lack of enough sleep, depression, and constant stimulation are all struggles that students who are balancing work and school life face. In fact, some of them don’t even enjoy a balanced diet because they don't have time to enjoy nutritious meals. All these factors lead to health issues. The health issues could start from the mental and manifest into the physical part of the body. Additionally, lack of sufficient sleep has been known to cause stroke, heart failure, heart attack, diabetes, weak immunity, depression, and high blood pressure.
Tips on how to balance work and school
Now that you know what happens when you struggle with balancing work and school, here are a few tips to help you do just that. Don’t let the pressure of balancing work and school get to you. Try out these tips!
1. Create a scheduling system
The hardest part about balancing work and school life is trying to set up a schedule without overloading your daily task list. Creating a scheduling system gets easier if you have a job that allows you to choose your working hours. Additionally, if you have a supportive office culture, you can disclose to your colleagues that you are struggling with balancing work and school and might need their help from time to time. Doing any of these will give you some time to carry out your studies and enjoy your spare time to decompress and unwind.
As you create a schedule, make use of the planning phone applications, planners, and calendars. Try planning applications like MyStudyLife, myHomework, and Todoist.
2. Prioritize your daily and weekly tasks
Don’t be a superhero, be very realistic with your priority system. List down all the tasks that you have to complete within a specific period and their deadlines. As you do this, list down your examination dates so that you can squeeze in some time to read through your notes. Let the short-term tasks take priority but give yourself time to go through your work. Don’t forget to schedule in your sleeping and resting time.
3. Be assertive
Say no to people, events, and things that don’t seem meaningful or important. Conserve your energy and time for your tasks and wellness. Balancing work and school life successfully requires a lot of communication and assertiveness.
4. Take care of yourself
Stress is a central part of balancing work and school life. It is unavoidable but manageable. Schedule time to eat well, relax, sleep, take a walk, and do your hobbies. Decompressing works differently for everyone so personalize it to your liking. Always safeguard your wellness, don’t wait to drop dead on your office desk.
5. Ask for help
There are so many people around you who are ready to help you. Now is the time to delegate work to your co-workers in the office. Additionally, seek assistance from your classmates, student council, and academic advisor. Reach out to anyone who can provide advice and help.
If you are working and studying, we commend you. We know it’s not easy but these tips will help you hack it. Good luck!