With the cost of tuition drastically rising, many students – both from online and traditional universities – are finding themselves having to hold down part time employment. Faced with having to complete assignments and study for exams while working, most students feel the pressure of having to perform perfectly in both school and work – which leads to being overwhelmed. However, with a few small adjustments and compromises, students should be able to better juggle both their school and work commitments. Below contains advice on how to decrease pressure and stress from both work and school.
- Firstly, students should plan their work and academic schedules as far in advance as possible in order to avoid encountering major conflicts. This means that, at the beginning of each semester, students should locate all important paper and exam dates on their syllabi. and inform their employers accordingly.
- Students who care more about working than academics should arrange their schedules so that they only have to go to campus once per day or twice per week. For those attending online universities, they should arrange their schedules according to one block of time per day.
- Because juggling work and school ultimately comes down to lack of time, it is imperative that students use every free minute of time in their favor – this means instead of surfing the web for ten minutes, students can be reading or completing assignments. If students’ jobs afford them a lot of downtime, they should use that time to get caught up on schoolwork, whether it be reading, completing assignments or studying for exams. Lunch breaks are also an ideal opportunity to get caught up on assignments or readings.
- Students should also inform all their employers as well as professors of their current situation. This way, professors and/or employers will be better prepared if something unexpected comes up, or if a compromise has to be made.
- Learn how to say no to employers. If students are offered to work additional hours for employers, they should not be afraid to decline such offers. Although extra money may be tempting, unanticipated work hours could seriously
affect academic performance.
- If students are really struggling, they may want to try and figure out other ways of earning extra income. Generally, most universities offer work-study programs to help finance students’ educations. Online universities may also offer some type of work-study or internship program as well.
- Students should try to work weekends rather than weekdays whenever possible. This allows them to devote their weekdays to solely attending classes and completing all schoolwork, which will result in an overall reduction in stress.
- Each week’s school assignments should be planned in advance, and students should inform their employers if a particular week is expected to be busier than usual.
- Before the beginning of the academic school year, students should try to search for jobs that are geared towards students rather than inflexible office jobs. Examples of student-friendly jobs include tutoring, babysitting, and pet watching. With these types of jobs, students are able to better control their hours and also command higher hourly wages.
- It is also important that students take a break from school every once in a while. Partaking in stress-reducing activities will prevent students from becoming psychologically distraught or unfocused. Some great stress-reducing activities include exercising, massage, visiting friends or going to the movies.
- Students should not work more than 20 hours per week. Past research has found that up to 20 hours of employment has a positive effect on students’ grades, but students’ grades start to suffer with more than 20 hours of weekly employment.
- If students truly find themselves hurting for money, they should try to scale down unnecessary expenses in order to have more time to focus on their schoolwork. Students should remember that doing well in school and earning a degree will result in higher wages down the road.
By following these above tips, and making some sacrifices, students will be able to better juggle employment and academics. However, students should never forget that their education should take precedence over their work – if students find their grades suffering, they should not be afraid to seek outside help or find a more student-friendly job.