how to work and go to college

For a growing number of students, working while attending college isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. Meanwhile, other students just want to make some cash for themselves and develop skills outside the classroom.

Regardless, you’ll need to figure out how to balance your work responsibilities and your education – especially during finals week.

3 Tips for Balancing Work While Going to College

For most working students, the biggest challenge is managing time between work, class, studying, and attempting to maintain a social life.

1. Look for a Flexible Job

Luckily for working students, there are more flexible employment options available today than there were ten years ago. Rideshares, food delivery, freelance work – these all provide opportunities to make your own schedule.

If that doesn’t work, most service industry jobs offer flexible scheduling. Restaurants are always looking for extra weekend help – and that’s the best time to make tip money, too. You could also look for jobs on campus.

2. Develop a Routine

Developing a routine is especially important if you have to make your own work schedule with gig work. In any case, getting into a routine and properly scheduling your days with a planner will help you keep up with your schoolwork while making money and still managing time for yourself.

It often helps to physically write things down in a planner each day rather than using an app. Push notifications are nice but writing helps you commit things to memory (and you can’t swipe it away).

3. Find Ways to Save Time

Prepping your meals ahead of time will help you stay healthy and keep your brain energized. You’ll be busy working and studying, and you don’t want to spend money dining out for every meal.

Take note of how much time you spend on notorious “time wasters” like scrolling through Reddit or texting the minutes away on your phone.

Do you take a bus or train on your commute? If so, that’s a great opportunity to study, catch up on emails, or get some reading done.

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The Bottom Line

Working while going to college can feel stressful but for most students, it’s a necessity at some point. Remember to communicate with potential employers about your school schedule during the hiring process and be up-front with your professors about your work obligations. Many professors may be willing to make special exceptions for tardiness or missed deadlines if they know you work – but don’t rely on it.

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