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13 Tips To Help You Balance Work & College

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Are you an official college freshman that needs some tips on how to balance work and college? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This blog post will give you the tips and assistance to help you balance your job and college courses with ease. 

I didn’t say that it wouldn’t be without stress. However, if you find the balance, build appropriate habits, and keep persisting, you will be successful in both your job and school. There have been college students before your time (including myself) that have been where you are, and we’ve managed to get through it. You can too. 

Before we start though giving you the tips, here are some questions with answers that may have popped in your head concerning your college courses and the job that you may have wanted to ask. Let’s get right to it. 

Should You work while attending college? 

Well, the better question should be is knowing if working is right for you. If you ever wanted to work while attending college, what would be the reason: Extra money or putting it in a savings account? One does not just start working without any intentions. Overall, find out your purpose of why you want to work and why is it important to you.

Here are some questions to help you get to thinking about:

  1. Rate 1-5 the importance of you working in college.
  2. Give 3 reasons why you should work while you attend college. 
  3. Have you worked before attending college?

There are some good and somewhat not good things about working, which we will get into later. 

Though you came on here to get some tips on how to balance your work and college, it’s also good to understand, especially when this is your first semester of college, the aspect of working and studying. 

Welcome to adulthood! Ish!

The essential benefits of balancing work and college in your life 

According to the Atlantic, multiple students are attending school time while working full time also. Sometimes students could work up to 3 jobs! Just know that everyone has different reasons why they work full-time instead of part-time. JIt could be due to

  1. They are paying for tuition on their own 
  2. They have their own families to take care of 
  3. Or they’re saving up for something 

So everyone has their reason why they’re working and attending college. As I said before, balancing work and college is doable and it does have its benefits. Here are some benefits:

  1. If this is going to be your first time working, you’ll learn some aspect of the real-world workplace. 
  2. You’ll gain valuable work experience and skills.
  3. You’ll learn more about your work ethics in the workplace.
  4. You’ll learn more about your likes and dislike of work.
  5. And if you work at a job that aligns with your major or the career you’re going for, you’ll gain valuable experience. Plus, you may obtain your first career when you’re done with school. 

How many hours should a full-time student work? 

Well, you should already know that a full-time student has 12 hours or more of class. This is not counting studying time. Plus, on-campus jobs limits you to work up to 20 hours a week (depending on where you work on campus, by that is the maximum amount). 

Now if you want to work outside of campus, you need to determine the number of hours you’re going to be putting on each week for work and your studies. This is not counting attending class. Some jobs are flexible who will let you work a few hours a week so you could tend to your studies.

 If you want to work more than 20 hours a week, then you will have to be pretty determined and be organized in how you’re going to make work and a school happy. 

When there’s a will, there is a way. 

Overall, working up to 20 hours a week, especially if this is your first job, is the probable way to go. Don’t stress yourself out at work, when you’ve got to give more effort into your studies. 

Balancing work and college as a freshman can work. It will work if you make the necessary effort. However, I would recommend (from experience) that you start your first semester with the school first (especially if this is going to be your first time in college working and all). Then, if you feel comfortable with your school schedule, you can take on a job next semester. 

Now that we’ve gotten over some questions you may have had about work and college, let’s get to the tips on how to balance work and college as a freshman student. 

Dunh Duhn Duhn!!! ????

Let’s get started. 

Here are 13 tips to give an idea of how to balance work and college.

Balancing work and college tip #1: Be Organized

This is one of the most important tips you need to know. If you’re not organized, your work and studies will fall apart in a not so good way. You may forget to turn in a project or forget a deadline. So yes, be organized. 

Plan a day where you can sit down and relax while having a planner at hand. Buy yourself a planner or an organizer to keep your studies, projects, and work schedule in place. And make sure you always look at it daily to help you remember your weekly or monthly schedule so that you won’t forget.

I was the person to never forget the deadline (thought my lazy self always turned it in at the last minute) of when I had to turn an essay or project. Why? Because I had a planner that helped me remember and get things done on time. So get a planner, be organized, and get ‘er done!

Balancing work and college tip #2: Eat Healthily

You may think that this is a no brainer. Well yeah, it is. However, what you eat will reflect on how you carry yourself throughout the day. That is why eating is the most important activity of day the day. Either you eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner, make sure that you’re eating! 

There are a couple of foods that can help increase your energy and brain function. Adding these specific foods into your meal daily will help you function normally throughout the day.

  1. Water (very essential)
  2. Coffee, to some extent
  3. Fatty fish like Salmon
  4. Blueberries
  5. Broccoli
  6. Boiled Eggs
  7. Green Tea
  8. Banana
  9. Oatmeal
  10. Avocadoes
  11. Oranges
  12. Beans
  13. Yogurt

These are just a few foods that you can buy and add into your daily meals.

Make sure there’s some limitation to eating junk food if you eat junk food that is. If you are in a mood for junk food, since we all do at times, do it when you have quality time for yourself while watching your favorite shows or hanging out with friends.

Balancing work and college tip #3: Sleep Early

Nothing is worse than sleeping late and waking up in the morning mad, upset, and groggy regretting for sleeping late. Now I can’t say that you’ll be sleeping good all night. You’ll have projects due, maybe working late at night, or whatever it may be. However, getting sleep is necessary for a functioning brain and a restful body. 

Balancing work and college tip #4: Use A Planner

I’m telling you that this is going to be your best friend. You would want to hold on to it like it’s precious to you. This has helped me remember appointments, classes (because your girl does forget), and other things I had to do as a college student but also when I was at work. I would look at my calendar and start making a monthly plan of what my month would be like.

If you haven’t gotten yourself a planner, you NEED to get one! This is going to be helpful, especially when you have work, school, studies, clubs, or whatever activities you may find yourself in. One planner I used myself was the BlueSky planner. It was simple and easy to implement my schedule and appointment. If you need something simple, I would want to look up this planner.

Balancing work and college tip #5: Determine Your Class Schedule

For you to have a certain balance in your work and your studies, you need to know your class schedule ahead of time. Since you already know your school schedule, the next thing you need to do is to know your work schedule. When you know both of them, you can now go from there.

This tip is important because you need to know when you’re going to be studying. If you’re going to be working on campus, that may not be a problem, but working outside of campus may be. So make sure you work things out with your manager at work (if you find yourself working off campus) by letting them know your school schedule and whatever it is that you need to let them know so you can have a good amount of time to study too.

Balancing work and college tip #6: Decide If Working Right For You

If you’re still wondering if working is right for you, especially if you haven’t worked before, and you’re still not sure if you want to work right now, then that is a great indication letting you know that working is not right for you for the moment. First, work out your schedule and studies the first semester to see if you can add work into your life.

There are also other things that you have to think about when you’re thinking about college/work. You have to let yourself experience college first hand without working so you can understand how you’re able to balance college life.

Balancing work and college tip #7: Write Down Your Goals

With almost everything you want to achieve, you will need to set goals. Goals help you achieve things in an organized and sometimes structural manner. If you have goals concerning your work or schooling, write them down. If your goal is to work and attend college all four years, then do that.

For example, let’s say your goal was to earn 1000 dollars where you work during your second semester of college. Depending on where you work, it may take longer to earn this amount of money. But if that is your goal, then be serious about pursuing and achieving it.

Everyone has different reasons why they want to work as they attend college. Find out if working in college is important to you and what are some goal you want to achieve with work. Sure work is just working, but depending on where you work, there could be some responsibilities that you might want to learn more about. Or you want to save money that will help you while you’re in college or after college. Determine your goal and get to it!

Balancing work and college tip #8: Learn About Your Studying Habits

Balancing a job and college is achievable, but you will need to work on it. If you know your work and school schedule, it’s now the time to think about your studying habits.

You will need to know when, where, and how you’re going to study. I never knew what my study habits were until my second year of college (I know real late right?). If you need some tips and assistance to understand how to study or even knowing your study preference, here are some sites I found that provides more than 10 ways to study that you can add into your studying habit:

  1. 17 Scientifically proven ways to study better this year
  2. 20 Study hacks to improve memory
  3. The best way to study, according to research

Balancing work and college tip #9: Break Your Studies Into Chunks

I think this tip is important. Why? Because you might find yourself going to class all morning ( if that was your schedule), then work all afternoon until 6 pm, then you have all evening until midnight to get all your studies in. But you find yourself tired and sleepy. Next thing, your 30-minute nap turned into an all-night nap.

Been there, done that.

Find a way to study during your work time or even between classes if you can. Some jobs can let you study for a bit even while you’re working!

Balancing work and college tip #10: Study Buddy

A study buddy has it’s good benefits most of the time. The only not so bad thing about having a study buddy is when you and your buddy don’t study! Nothing is wrong with talking to your friend or even have a laugh with them. I’ve had my shares of them!

Being with a friend is one of the relaxing ways to tend to your self-care. However, if your conversation is more than your studying then that’s a problem. Make sure that your study buddy knows you very well and knows your schedule, so you both could on the same boat when it comes to studying.

I mention this tip because sometimes studying alone may not be something you should do. Make friend with your classmate, roommate, or even someone in a club you’ve joined and asked them if you could both be study buddies. Having someone to support you could be something you need in your college/work journey.

Balancing work and college tip #11: Make Sacrifices

Finding balance while working and going to college is not impossible, but it may require some

sacrifices. There may have been some activities you were involved in that you can’t even participate in anymore because it may get in way of your studies and your job. Maybe your favorite show came at a certain time on Television and you may have to miss it because of your work or your studies.

There will be some things you may have to sacrifice but in the long run, make sure that the decisions you make are worthwhile because, with any decision, there’s an ending. Make sure that ending is worth seeking so those sacrifices are worth not doing.  

Balancing work and college tip #12: Pray For Wisdom

This tip is personally important to me. I used it when I went to work and college. And behold, I earned my degree while saving up some money for myself. If you’re a Christian, then this should be important to you too.

Pray for wisdom so that God can help you when you go through this work/college journey. Seek His face when you’re weary and concerned. Pray for strength when you feel weak. Ask for protection when certain blocks are coming your way. Overall, make God the center of your journey so He can lead you through it safe and protected.

Balancing work and college tip #13: Make Time For Self-Care Activities

Work and college can bring a whole lot of stress into your life. So always find the time to take care of yourself so you can properly function in your environment. Join a group, exercise, watch some television, write in your journal, or even just read a book to help you relax. With whatever free time you have, apart from studying, make time for yourself and make it count.

So, these are some tips to help you balance work and school. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave your questions in the comments or by the contact form.

Are you doing anything to balance your college life and work? Leave your comments below!

Until Next Time,

Simply Alia

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