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TIPS FOR BALANCING WORK AND SCHOOL

Whether you are a recent high school graduate or a mature student heading back to the classroom for the first time in decades, college comes with a lot of responsibility. Keeping up with your homework and assignments can require a good amount of your time outside of school. If you also have a part-time job, this juggling act can be even trickier.

However, many people have successfully kept up with both responsibilities while earning their diploma and a finding a new direction in life. Here are some tips on how you too can successfully balance work and school.

CREATE A SCHEDULE

The best way to stay on track is to have a detailed plan. Write down all of your classes and shift times and enter them on a daily calendar that is broken down into 15 minute increments. Once that is done, look at the blank spaces that remain: do you have enough time to get to and from classes to work and vice versa? If not, ask your supervisor if they can change your hours (if you explain your circumstances, they may offer extra flexibility). If transportation is an issue, try leaving earlier or finding a different way of travelling that is more time efficient.

CHOOSE YOUR PRIORITIES

An important part of scheduling is priorities. Yes, that new movie you have been waiting to see opens this weekend, but you have a project due on Monday morning, you are behind in your reading, and you have an eight-hour shift on Sunday. The movie’s ending won’t change whether you watch it this weekend or next. You are free to take the chance and hope you get everything done, but this is not a smart way to go.

Unless you are having some kind of personal or family emergency, your school and work obligations should come first. Yes, it is important to visit with friends, but achieving your degree can open many new doors for you. That is more important than seeing a movie right away or staying up late to watch TV shows you could see at a more convenient time in the future.

DON'T OVERDO IT

Chances are you will have to tinker with your schedule a bit in the first couple of weeks. No one can foresee what commitments and obligations will pop up.

However, you must remember to take time for yourself. While you can pass on things that simply waste time while not providing you with any benefit, be sure to continue doing those that you enjoy and find restful.

If you find yourself consistently falling behind, feeling unusually tense, and being unable to sleep (or sleeping too much), these are all signs that you may be burning out. If that is the case, adjustments need to be made.

Try doing one, or all, of these:

  • Tell your instructor and/or boss about your situation and see if accommodations are possible
  • Call in favours from family and friends to help you meet personal obligations
  • Try to factor in more time for rest and leisure

Don’t be discouraged if you find this balance difficult to achieve and maintain at first.Many people are able to handle school and work successfully and you will too! In addition to having a new degree to show for it, you will also gain valuable time management skills applicable to virtually any life or work situation.

We look forward to helping you attain your educational goals!