Striking the Work-Life-Study Balance as A Student

No matter what type of major commitments you have as a student, chances are that pursuing some part-time work has crossed your mind. Yes, while so many people sell these years as the “best years of your life” with plenty of extracurricular activities, learning opportunities, and other fun things to do, money will always be a concern. Indeed, nearly 14 million U.S. college students are working at least part-time while pursuing a degree, and not necessarily for the same reasons. As a result, when you’re talking about working as a college student, you need always to be thinking about balance to make sure you get a full experience in these four years.

How Much Is Too Much?

We’re going to start with a sobering statement regarding working during college. The days of working your way through school are over, as school prices have gotten to the point that you are extremely unlikely to find a part-time or even full-time entry-level job that will cover your costs completely. This doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it to work, though. The money you can make can do a lot to reduce how much you need to take out in loans, resulting in lower debt. Just don’t expect a free ride. As a result, when you are looking for potential work for students, it pays to be both realistic and specific in your job goals.

One thing you should look for is the potential value for your college job for your plans. Many people look for jobs that will provide relevant experience for their field of choice. In some cases, your professor or your school’s career development office will be able to help you find something appropriate. Even if you can’t find an exact match, there may still be some value for your resume. Many part-time jobs can provide valuable experience in time management and work in a team, which can benefit you indirectly. So, when looking for a job, don’t expect to solve all your issues magically, but know that all value doesn’t end with money.

Setting Yourself Up For Success

If it seems like you’re being pulled in a bunch of different directions, you may be right. After all, you still need to study, handle this job, and some time for yourself would be nice. The best thing you can do is start getting ready to handle your time to get an understanding of how large your workload is, and what you can handle. Many people have different ways to go about this, but some of the best ways to start are:

  • Plan your schedule
  • Make a weekly to-do list
  • Prioritize your work
  • Break large tasks into their smaller components
  • Set goals and deadlines for projects
  • Avoid perfectionism
  • Honestly assess the amount of time you waste

At the same time, there is also a mental component to work life balance. Stress is a very real thing, and should you stress yourself out too much, it is very likely that you will hurt your efforts rather than help them. Be ready for things to go wrong sometimes, and focus on how you can minimize things from happening in the future rather than how bad they are in the present. Also, keeping a healthy lifestyle can mitigate stress. Don’t neglect exercise, a good diet, sleep, or relationships with friends and family. It may seem like more things to add to your list, but these items help you work through the tougher parts of balance rather than just eating up your time.

Managing your time, in and of itself, is an essential workplace skill, so it makes sense that you should start honing it now. Ironically, work-life balance is starting to become more and more of an important topic in companies across the country, so there is no time like the present to start learning to craft a lifestyle where are your responsibilities get equal time and attention.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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