Figuring out how to balance school and work in college can be extremely difficult at first. However, once you figure out what type of framework works for you, all you have to do is continue to improve it.
First, you must prioritize your education. Yes, easier said than done especially when you are working your way through school. Second, is block scheduling and planning. Third, you should try and create a consistent work schedule for yourself. Lastly, do your best to take weekends off and not work long shifts.
Let’s dive into how to balance school and work in college in a little more detail.
1. Prioritize Your Education
For me this meant, making sure to take morning or early afternoon classes whenever I could. By taking morning classes, I focus all my energy and brainpower on one block of the day. It helped me learn better while saving energy since I did not have to switch my brain on and off between large gaps in classes.
Also, a major benefit of taking morning classes is that I still had the rest of the day to accomplish whatever else I wanted. This allowed me to maximize my day by getting my classes over with while still having time to do extracurriculars and work.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you are not allowing yourself to fall behind in your classes. It will only make things tougher, and most likely make you take longer to graduate. Then that means more money you have to spend on school and that is rarely a good thing, if ever.
2. Block Scheduling and Planning
Block Scheduling, either on old-fashioned pen and paper or with an app (check out ClickUp), is essential to balance your school and work while in college. It is not enough to just make a to-do list for yourself.
Without proper time management and allocation, you will just end up with a whole bunch of to-dos piling up and making you feel overwhelmed. You need to intentionally block out time in your day to focus on tasks like studying.
Block scheduling helps keep you on task and gives you a framework in which to focus your mental capacity for a given period. It also allows you to create an overview of your day so you can take better control of how you spend your time and what you give your energy to.
3. If Possible, Create a Consistent Work Schedule
I was fortunate enough to have two employers that were willing to work around my class schedule. At the beginning of each semester, I spoke with my employers about my work schedule for the upcoming semester.
I did this pretty soon after I registered for classes and it always worked out for me. Speak to your employers soon after you register for classes.
The sooner you speak with them about your school and work schedule, the higher the chances that you will be able to create some consistency for you both. Once you have consistency, you have predictability, and you can better plan out your time more effectively.
4. Try not to work on weekends
Keep your weekends to yourself! I know you need the money, but if you are already working a lot during the week, try not to work on the weekends. You need to rest and relax. If you don’t, you risk burnout both at work and in school. Be sure to create “you” time every week.
This “you” time doesn’t have to be for the whole day. It can be for just a few hours. It doesn’t really matter what you do to relax either, as long as the activity helps you recharge from the past week and for the upcoming week.
For me, I am looking to start going to the movies more. It’s something that I really enjoy and helps me recharge. So I am looking to go once a week to see something and if possible maybe go more than once a week.
On the more physical side of “you” time, I am making exercise an outlet for myself. I am attending classes that range from yoga to strength training. Each class is an opportunity for me to go and release any stress that I might be feeling all while working to bring my body to its best form possible.
There are plenty of options out there for you. Figure out what works for you and make it a part of your weekly routine.
Some relaxing things you could do would be going to see a movie or to brunch with friends. If you are looking to not spend much money, you could spend a day at the park. You can make it a solo picnic or if you recharge better with people around it can be a group picnic.
Some completely free things would just be to go for walks, hike, or exercise at your school’s gym.
Putting It All Together
These 4 simple tips are an excellent foundation for you to build your personalized framework for balancing school and work. Remember that these are only suggestions, and do what you feel is best for you. Also, be sure to check out my post titled 5 Ways to Save Money in College Right Now. There are some noteworthy tips in that article as well.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any tips on how to balance school and work in college?
Best of luck adulting!
Adulting Starts Here
Thanks for reading! If you saw any value in this article, please share it with others. Adulting Starts Here is all about making adulting 101 easier. So share the information – help increase access.
Disclosure: This post may contain some referral links, if you follow them and purchase anything from the recommended services/products, I might receive some commission. I can assure you though that I would never recommend something I don’t trust myself. Thanks for supporting Adulting Starts Here!
About The Author
Donald Williams, Jr.
Donald is an avid believer in helping young people prepare for adulthood. He spends his time working on Adulting Starts Here and helping new adults plan for the future. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and going to the beach.