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5 Tips to Balance Work and Study

OSAU Team

In the era of globalization, most students are choosing to work while studying full time at a college or university. College can be expensive so an extra income is very helpful for your everyday expenses.  Although some students have enough money to pay their fees and be able to accommodate the necessities of life, they still chose to work. However, having a job and balancing both of your responsibilities can be tough. 

Studies show that students who work are more confident and possess better time-management skills than students who are not employed. In addition to offering a paycheck, some independence and satisfaction, a part-time job can provide both training and experience. Working teaches students about responsibility and can also reinforce what they are learning in school.

College is the time when you should be able to grow and learn about yourself while also having fun, not a time when you are stressed out because of the never ending pile of responsibilities and tasks you have to accomplish. Here are some ways you can do to successfully manage both your work and your studies.  


1. Carefully plan and stick to your schedule.

5 Tips to Balance Work and Study

If you plan to work a full-time or part-time job while you are in college, be sure to plan out your schedule really well.  Don’t just choose your class schedule randomly, instead plan your work schedule around your class schedule. Don’t have too many breaks in-between each class, you will have little time for your work. But if you do happen to have breaks in-between classes, use them wisely.  

Use an app on your phone, diary or wall calendar or whatever works better for you to schedule your commitments such as important lectures and assignments deadlines, dates and times you have agreed to work and key social events.  

You should also plan for sudden work crises and last-minute overtime requests. Block off enough study time to be able to adjust if necessary. Create a study timetable and set aside specific times throughout the week to focus on things like homework, laundry and going to the gym. Communicate your schedule to family and friends for them to know your available times. 

Having a to-do list is also helpful if you are in college. To-do lists help you organize your day and your tasks and will be extremely helpful if you are also juggling your work. You will know what tasks you should accomplish, both for your school requirements and work. Plus having a to-do list will help you remember what tasks you need to do and what deadlines you have for the week.

2. Plan ahead and avoid procrastination.

5 Tips to Balance Work and Study

“Never put off tomorrow what you can do today.” Taking on the extra responsibility of a part-time job won't make excelling in your studies impossible, but you'll need to be highly organized and have good time management to make it happen.

If you want to find balance between work and studying, it’s important to stay ahead and not procrastinate. If you procrastinate, you’re allowing your to-do list to grow and grow into an intimidating amount of work. And once all that work has piled up, it’ll be even harder to motivate yourself to get started. You should get ahead on readings, papers and other assignments. It’ll help reduce procrastination-based stress while allowing more time for your part-time job or hanging out with friends. There’s a lot of online resources which offer study tips, tutoring and digital flashcards. It can help you study ahead and compare notes to past students who’ve taken a similar course before.

Once you have your final schedule of your classes and work, make use of your free time for studying or for doing your homework, or if your work schedule is flexible use this time to finish your tasks. Your sleep schedule will also depend on your time management. As a college and working student, you will need sleep so manage your day properly so that you can go to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Aside from that, you should also know how to eliminate time wasters. For one, choose a job that will limit your commute time. Inquire for jobs inside or just around your campus. Another one is to prepare your meals ahead of time this will not only cut your time but it will also save you a lot of money from buying food everyday.  

3. Choose a job that you enjoy and keep a record of your job for your CV

5 Tips to Balance Work and Study

If you are given the opportunity, choose a job that you know you will enjoy. College can be stressful already so doing something that you will enjoy won’t seem like a job. By doing so, you might have more energy to do your work especially on days when school requirements are piling up or even when your requirements are draining you. 

Recruiters love student with part-time work on their CV. Holding down a part-time job will demonstrate time management, a strong work ethic, the ability to be proactive and indicate that you carry through on your commitments. All part-time jobs will give you exposure to the working world and develop your interpersonal skills. And specific part-time jobs will develop particular skills: customer-facing part-time work will give you insight into client management, for example.

Periodically, note down any skills and knowledge you have used in your part-time job (for example, teamwork, organisation, customer service, understanding new systems) and any achievements (for example, good feedback from your manager or customers or training new members of staff). Take a note of any numbers (for example, how many customers you might serve in a day). You can use these to really make the most of your part-time work on your CV.

4. Keep everyone informed

5 Tips to Balance Work and Study

It's inevitable that there will be times when your studies need to take precedence over part-time work. If you work regular times, give your employer as much notice as possible that you will need more time during this period and try to negotiate a solution.

University staff also appreciate fully that money is an issue and recognize that students need to work. If you do find yourself struggling to produce coursework on time seek advice and support as early as you can from your tutor. Deadlines can be extended in exceptional circumstances.

5. Make time for yourself

5 Tips to Balance Work and Study

College is already stressful - you have classes to go to, requirements to submit, and exams you need to study for, but even more stressful if you have to balance your work as well which is why it is very important for you to sleep and relax.

Deal with stress accordingly and look out for signs of burnout. Be realistic about what you can do and don' t promise something you can't deliver. Make an effort to still keep yourself healthy and fit so that you can perform at your best in school and at work. When everything becomes overwhelming, just step back and take moment to relax. Watch your favorite show, go out with friends, read your favorite book, or even go out to shop - do whatever you can to unwind for another day of school and work.

If you are still concerned, talk to student services/student support at your university as specially trained advisers who can give you financial advice, from ways to budget to dealing with personal debt.


By working and studying at the same time, you are taking a challenge that some people do not dare to attempt. But this does not mean that it is impossible; many people have done it and succeeded. Keep your goals and reasons in mind and use them as a motivation and follow the tips above to balance work and study as best you can.



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