How to balance work and school in college

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the prospect of balancing work and school, especially if you’re a college student. But with some tips, tricks and clear mind-set, it becomes much more manageable.

We’ve put together this post to help you find the best balance for your unique situation and goals. We’ll show you how to get ahead on assignments while still having time for work or other activities that might be giving you nervous thoughts — all while saving as much money as possible in the process.


Staying Up to Date with Assignments

Your first inclination might be to work as much as possible when you’re not at school or work, but that can be a bad idea. You need time for yourself — to unwind, relax and take care of personal business. Don’t forget about taking a break from time to time in order to ultimately be more productive. At the same time, you need to set aside some time each day or each week for just working on your assignments. Since your schoolwork is obviously important, you can’t let it fall to the wayside.

Your course schedule and time management skills are going to be the deciding factor here. If you’re juggling a full class load with part-time work, you might not have time to work on assignments between classes and work. But if your schedule is less busy, you should be able to make room for working on them in a decent chunk of time each week.

Depending on your schedule, you might want to set aside chunks of time each day or each week. To make sure you can work on your assignments, try setting an alarm (or some other reminder) for these blocks of time. That way, you’re accountable for dedicating them to schoolwork and won’t have to worry about finding time in the future.

If you have a part-time job and a full class load, you should ideally set aside at least one or two hours per day just for working on assignments. When you’re in class, it might be difficult to find a good chunk of time to work on assignments. But set aside a little time during your breaks or anytime you can get away from your classmates and have some quiet, uninterrupted time (without phone calls, texts and all that stuff).

One thing that’s important, though: Make sure you’re not spending too much time on studying for your classes. You should always focus on learning and understanding what’s going on in your classes.

Keep constant touch with your classmates

If you’re trying to keep up with your schoolwork and schedule a part-time job, it’ll be helpful for you to make friends in your class. If a bunch of you sit together, you can chat and catch up during breaks. And if one of you is finished with an assignment, you can help each other out. In general, though, don’t get discouraged if people don’t want to work with you or can’t work with you. If you’re a bit shy or don’t make much of an effort, you might still have a hard time getting your work done.

Set boundaries with other classes

You should also be open to the idea that there are exceptions to your schedule and that not everyone can do what you’re doing. This might mean giving up on one or two classes or being OK stopping at 10 AM instead of working harder in the ones you already got through.

Talk to your professor on how to balance work and school

In general, you should also be open to talking with your professors. They’re the ones that matter most when it comes to how you’re doing in class, so getting a good relationship going with them is important. If you have questions or concerns about what’s going on in class, talk with one of them during office hours. They’ll be able to help you out more than anyone else will.

Letting Yourself Get Stressed?

Staying up-to-date with your work and being a good student can be stressful. But it’s important that you don’t let yourself get too stressed. One way to help take the pressure off is to remind yourself of all the other things you’re trying to do with your time besides school, such as working full time, studying for tests and avoiding things that stress you out.