Balancing Act: Juggling Work and Studies in College


Many students have to work during their college years. According to the US Department of Education, about 43% of full-time students combine studies and employment. Among part-time students, the number is significantly higher – 81%.

Although it is widespread, it still takes a lot of work to do. Being a successful student and productive employee requires much effort, resilience, and dedication. If you are only beginning this journey, you might benefit from the following tips on making it all work.

Support System


The first thing you need is a robust support system. You don’t have to try to achieve everything on your own.

Inform your workplace about your education and talk to your boss about potential scenarios where you might need to take a day off. Talk to your professors about the job. If you see you might miss class because of work, always inform them beforehand.

Also, create a list of study resources to help you be more efficient. Those include databases, grammar-checking apps, and academic writing platforms. According to Paper24, many students order help with college papers and get excellent results.

Also, the site has a blog section where students can find plenty of valuable tips and tricks on academic writing. So, besides collaborating with experts, you can find how-to guides and learn more about specific types of papers.

Having such resources near you helps you save time and feel less anxious even if you cannot meet all deadlines on your own.

Define Your Priorities


The truth is that you’ll have to sacrifice some things. It might be a hang-out with friends or a concert. And to know what is in the focus, you need to set priorities.

Those should be academic priorities, for instance:

  • Graduate on schedule;
  • Perform well in class and be active;
  • Submit all tasks on time;
  • Set daily study sessions.

Work priorities might include:

  • Be efficient and productive;
  • Communicate your availability and limitations;
  • Always start with the most time-sensitive task.

You can create a list of goals, starting with big ones and breaking them down into smaller ones. Keep them somewhere visible so it will help maintain internal motivation.

Maintain a Schedule


With a lot on your plate, you’ll need a schedule. First of all, it will ensure you won’t forget anything. Secondly, it will help you be a better manager of your resources.

Students can use one of various apps like Google Calendar to maintain a schedule. Make sure you add all of your classes and shifts there. Also, add commuting time, to be precise. Set periods for reading, making notes, or revising.

Remember to schedule weekly chores like getting groceries or gas for the next week. After completing all essential tasks, you can see how much time is left. You can use it to rest, take a break, or meet with friends.

If there is no free time left, you need to revise your schedule and think about optimizing it. Consider talking to a college advisor about your workload and the classes you are taking. Maybe you’ve taken too much this semester.

Work Harder, Not Longer

There are processes you can optimize. For example, you can use commuting time for revising notes. While running errands, you can listen to an audiobook for college. Another valuable idea is to give the Pomodoro technique a chance.

When you are studying, try to avoid procrastination. Turn the notifications off and avoid distractions—separate time into blocks of intense work. You can write for 15 minutes without losing focus and then take a 5-minute break.

Make Use of Technology


Technology can streamline many processes and make studying and working more manageable. There is a great variety of applications that make college tasks easier. Those are:

  • Grammarly for grammar and spelling checks;
  • Class Timetable for college schedules;
  • Mint for managing your budget and disbursements;
  • Minimalist for to-do lists;
  • Office Lens for saving pictures as PDF files and working with them;
  • Scribdr for e-books and podcasts;
  • Evernote for taking notes efficiently.

It is not the complete list – many other handy solutions exist. Think of what area of your responsibilities you’d like to improve. There is a high chance you can use an app just for that.

Set Boundaries


It might be one of the most complicated tasks. But you risk taking too much on your shoulders without setting clear workplace and college boundaries.

It means communicating directly what you can do and what is not possible. There will be responsibilities you cannot take. For instance, a colleague asks to change shifts, but you plan to study that day. Remember to keep yourself a top priority.

The same goes for college. Your peers may want you to join another study group. Or someone asks you to tutor them on the subject. But if you cannot fit it into your schedule, say “no.” Saying “no” is difficult but a crucial skill to learn.

Remember About Your Needs

It is easy to forget about your needs. Students tend to disregard sleep, nutrition, and the need for rest. It is a terrible way to go around your routine. It can seriously affect your mental and physical health and ability to accomplish tasks.

And if you do not take care of yourself, you won’t be able to perform academically and professionally. Your well-being has to be a high priority as well. It means maintaining a regular sleep schedule, exercising, and eating nutritious meals.

It also means taking breaks and relaxing. You have to make time for things and people you love. Ensure you only have time for yourself and what you want to do.

In Summary


Managing higher education with employment is exceptionally challenging. But with proper planning in place, you can succeed at both. Use these techniques and approaches to optimize your tasks and achieve all the goals you’ve set for yourself.