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Being A Working College Student

By Samantha Richardson

Ironically, I never thought that I would be multitasking between working and going to school. But since I am, both are two beasts of their own. Sometimes you have to sacrifice something important, either with work or school. This can make life complicated as a young adult. Work and school can cause a rollercoaster of things to happen. To feel confident doing both, you have to know how to balance the two. Everyone’s method is different, so you really have to try and test what works for you.

Dealing With Schedules…

Before I stepped into the work world, college was my one and only commitment. Of course, I do miss those days. Now that I have to balance both my job and school schedules, it makes me wonder if it’s worth it. I know it sounds like a crazy question, because of course I want to make money. However, at times, I feel as though I don’t give my fullest potential to school because of work. In general, I believe that when you’re on the route of work and school, you should consider how well your time management is. Weigh out your options for doing both at the same time. Assess what’s best for you. What will be easier - working full time or part time? Consider taking out a loan or credit card to help with common expenses, like housing, food, books, etc in case your school schedule is too demanding for you to take on a job. Consider the option of attending classes part time to make room to work full time. In my opinion, you should either make your school schedule work around your work schedule or vice versa, or you can be just a seasonal worker, or you can just find a job on campus.

Know Your Worth

When dealing with decisions like this one, you have to know what you should settle for, and what you shouldn’t. What I mean by this is knowing where to set your boundaries, particularly with work. There are going to be times when work is going to prompt unreasonable schedules, placing you in a compromising position with school, and the only thing to do is stand your ground. It’s important to also know to choose your battles wisely. You still want to set yourself up for a decent financial life while in school. You will know when your manager is being unfair when your work schedule is not working with your class schedule. Never put your job as too much of a priority, unless your livelihood fully depends on it. Also, take note that you do have the option of attending classes part time, if you are in need of more work hours. Whichever direction you choose to take matters, and you should discuss them with your advisor.

Take Advantage Of Your Off Days

I’m still learning how to do this myself, but sometimes, as a working student, I don’t always feel like doing assignments after work. The best way to stay efficient with your classes is to work on assignments on the days you have off. You can always do bits and pieces of your assignments on your work day, or you can take half of your day off to work on assignments.

Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

In conclusion, being a working student can be stressful, and challenging. However, you owe it to yourself to step back and give yourself credit for still remaining productive in either area of your life, school or work. In the end, everything will all come together, and it will all be worth it.

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