18 Ways to Balance Work With Class

I think it is stupid that students have to work and go to college at the same time, but that’s the way it is. Here are some ways you can make your life a little easier.

Don’t work weekends. Save the weekends for yourself and your friends. Too many students think that it is better to work less during the week and recuperate the money loss on the weekend. In fact, it is better to stay focused during the week and allow yourself to recuperate instead. (TIP: If you only have class two or three days a week, working weekends is fine.)

Ask off a few weeks in advance for the night before important tests such as midterms and finals. You need this time to do final review and rest.

Schedule work directly after class whenever possible and no later than you feel comfortable. It is always easier to go straight from a test to work than vice-versa.

Don’t put up with an employer that doesn’t respect the fact that you are a student first. If diplomacy doesn’t work, put in a two weeks notice and call out as much as possible.

Work extra hours during the summer. By doing this you will have enough money to last you through the year or at least not have to work as much during the academic year.

Generate income on your own terms. Online auctions, music lessons/academic tutoring, and the classics such as grass cutting, leaf raking, etc. are a good way to supplement your income or tide you through a job search. I didn’t have time for a real job last year, so I’d go to thrift stores to find stuff to sell on Ebay. My first month I made almost one thousand dollars in profit. You can start with old electronics and books just laying around, and then hit up garage sales and more. Give it a try; signing up is free. (TIP: Don’t sell screwdriver shots on campus.)

Take advantage of slow paced jobs by getting in extra study or homework time. A friend of mine finished a book every one or two days while working at a drug store. If you are going to eventually be studying anyway, why not get paid to do it?

Work on campus. If you live in residence halls this will also save you a trip since you will most likely be able to walk. If you can find a work-study position this is a good option. You usually won’t be doing any real work and some credit may be available.

Take naps and maintain a consistent sleep schedule. The hardest part about keeping a routine of work and college is fatigue. Don’t stay up too late, and try to not sleep in too much on the weekends. If you have finished all of your studying and don’t have to go in to work for 2-3 hours, lay down for a while if you feel that you need to. “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin

Always work holidays. By taking advantage of holiday pay you will increase your income efficiency on these days by 50-100%

Burn yourself study CDs. These are especially good if you deliver pizzas or have to commute since you can study on the go. They are easy to make, and you are reviewing in the process by recording your own notes.

Find a job where you get credit/experience and get paid at the same time. These are called paid internships. These are usually hard to find until your junior or senior year, but a paid internship during the summer is good money as well as practical experience.

Work where your friends work. You won’t feel like a social outcast if your workplace is also your social venue, just try not to get yourself canned. You can also carpool to save gas.

Get a work schedule with hours for when your brain is not at its peak. If you are not a morning person, it is in your best interest to get work out of the way then. Doing your job will wake your brain up and give you a chance to get moving. On the contrary, if you prefer being out of bed at the crack of dawn, try to make work your bedtime story. (TIP: This is not only for mundane jobs. College is more important than work, so always give it priority.)

If you have a job that requires as much as or more concentration than college, cut back on the hours or quit. Unless you really like pain, you are eventually going to burn out if you don’t ease up.

Let your professors know that you work. Don’t make it a sob story, just give them some honest information. Sometimes you may get called in, come in late, or otherwise. By letting your professor know early on that you have to work in addition to his/her class, it shows that you are responsible as well as considerate. This will help you when extenuating circumstances arise.

Always be on time and give your employer plenty of notice. Though college is more important than work, job regulations are more strict. Being even 5 minutes late can be cause for a referral and an unexplained absence will more often that not get you dismissed. The more punctual you are and the fewer times you miss work, the faster you get a raise. The faster you get a raise, the fewer hours you have to work.

Be careful about accepting management responsibilities. Yes, I know that you are proud of earning the Assistant Crew Leader sticker, but don’t let it go to your head. When you graduate from peon at most jobs, along with that nice shiny new name-tag your employer also places a couple more hooks in your back. Getting a call at midnight asking you to come help because another manager wanted to go clubbing is not worth an extra two fifty an hour.

I’m leaving this at eighteen for now because I’d like you to send in your own ideas. I’ll pick the best two to round this article out to a solid 20 and give credit.

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