By Roger Dutta
The time you spend in college is going to be one of the most formative experiences of your life. It’s your rite of passage, your transition to adulthood. The new-found independence of being on your own can cause both nervous and excited butterflies in your stomach.
The Challenges of College Life
Nevertheless, the sky-high tuition fees and other costs, such as food and rent, make it difficult for many students to make ends meet. While your family is always there for support, you might still feel the need to start fending for yourself.
The good news is that there are plenty of student-friendly part-time jobs that can help you earn some money while focusing on your academics. Even if you aren’t strapped for cash, you can start working early to gain relevant experience that’ll come in handy during placements.
The best part is that you get the taste of financial independence from a young age and learn to be more responsible. However, while most college students are engaged in some form of part-time work, only a few of them can successfully balance it with their studies.
Here’s the thing – irrespective of the job you have, it can become quite demanding at times. If you’re working full-time, you’ll have the liberty to let go of other obligations and give more time to your professional life.
However, as a college student, you’re likely already swamped with assignments, projects, practical classes, and exams. Taking the time out for a job without affecting your academic performance often becomes challenging. Also, shuttling between classes and the office might leave you with no time for yourself.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider getting a job while you’re still studying. You just have to find the right way to strike a balance between your academic and professional lives. This involves setting realistic goals and learning to choose the right priorities.
In this blog, we’ve outlined a few useful tips to help you effectively juggle between your college life and a part-time job. Let’s take a look.
1. Create a Schedule
If you’re working as a college student, you’ll likely have to multitask throughout the day. Outlining a visual schedule comes in handy when you have too much to do. Set reminders for upcoming assignments and project submissions. Look at your routine and find out how you can squeeze some extra time to work on various projects.
This is also a good time to check your curriculum for the upcoming semester and find out when the exams will happen. Set your routine keeping these dates in mind. It’ll help you prepare for your tests without jeopardizing your job. Don’t forget to talk to your employer and send your leave application in advance.
2. Keep All Stakeholders Informed
From your professors and batchmates to your employer and coworkers – make sure you let everyone know about your situation. In most cases, they’ll appreciate your honesty and be supportive enough to accommodate sudden changes in your schedule.
3. Create a Support Network
Despite your best efforts, you’ll likely face scheduling conflicts at some point. You might have to choose between an upcoming essay submission and an important client meeting. Depending on the nature of your job, you might have to skip a couple of classes and work extra shifts due to a seasonal increase in demand.
That’s why you need a strong support network of classmates and colleagues to help you navigate the turbulent waters of academic and professional life. Check with a few classmates and find out if they’re okay with sharing their notes in case you miss a class.
Likewise, you could consider joining online classes and study groups to learn at your pace. Make sure you utilize online learning platforms to connect with skilled tutors who can help resolve doubts. From various topics of applied science to different subjects of humanities – you’ll find tutors to help you with everything.
The best part is that you can connect with them at a convenient time, even outside your college hours. Also, find a few reliable coworkers who can cover for you while you’re preparing for a test.
4. Learn to Say “No”
The thumb-rule of multi-tasking is to learn to set the right priorities. Shuttling between college and work, you likely won’t have the time for too many distractions. For instance, going out to celebrate a friend’s birthday on a weeknight may not be feasible for you.
Likewise, working an extra shift the night before an assignment submission will take a toll on your grades. The key is to carefully choose what’s more important and say a firm “no” to the other task. The last thing you want is to completely exhaust yourself trying to be a people-pleaser.
5. Find Time for Yourself
Burnout is real and you wouldn’t want to find this out the hard way. Between your academic and professional deadlines, you might have little time to relax. However, it’s important that you find opportunities to unwind amidst your busy schedule.
Take a day off from work and go for a hike with your friends. Or enjoy a quiet picnic in the park on a weekend. Or you could even spend a day watching Netflix and ordering from your favorite takeaway place. The key is to take a break from your routine life and recharge your batteries.
Do you have any other useful tips for college students who’re engaged in part-time jobs? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.