College life comes loaded with responsibilities for most students. A majority of them are managing their expenses on a shoe string budget. And the sky rocketing tuition fees and loans taken for that makes students look for part time work options to manage their daily expenses. Some are lucky enough to find work on-campus especially where colleges have on-campus work policies for students. Others have to look for options outside and the employers more than often are not sensitive to the pressures they face as a student.
Students in such a scenario often find themselves unable to find a balance between their studies and work commitments. Some with greater financial problems are seen to even drop out of college to pursue work full time. This not only is a waste of the time they spent in college but also has a drastic effect on their future. If finding that right balance between their studies and work can help them continue with college than it is important that they be briefed with ways to manage that.
Discussed below are some tips such as that on better time management methods to help students find an effective balance between their studies and part time jobs.
Find a flexible job
Before you start with your job talk to your employer and ensure that he is understanding of your situation and priorities as a student. Ask him if is okay with allowing to have flexible work hours. Also, talk before hand for the leaves that you would be taking during exam days.
Take it slow at start
A lot of students try to find jobs related to their subject and careers they want to take after college. But, no matter what job you take up make sure that you are comfortable with the work. Take things slow at the beginning. It's better to under-promise your employer for the work you can deliver than to disappoint them later on. Don't burden yourself with more than what you can handle. And if you feel you won't be able to keep up with your previous promise update your employer at earliest and if he is understanding you can work out a new contract.
Set Realistic Goals
When juggling between a job and college studies it is important that you set for yourself clear goals. Time management and prioritizing the tasks you have to do is essential part of that. Organizing yourself, making a schedule and allocating sufficient time for each task is very important. And while doing that you need to be realistic with yourself. As previously said, don't burden yourself with more than you can handle. Drop or cut down on things that you feel are not important and focus on the more important tasks.
Set aside some time for yourself
When we discussed before on cutting out on important things we didn't mean that you cut out on hanging out with your friends and family. It is important that you set aside some time for yourself every now and then. It helps recharge and refresh your mind and body and you can return to your studies and work with more energy and focus.
Write out a "Why List"
When struggling between a part-time job and studies you would also experience some down times when you would feel like why struggle so much. You might even feel like dropping out of the job. Although, there is no harm in that but before taking the final say on the decision once, remind yourself as to why you took the job in the first place. Ask yourself, ' Why am I doing what I'm doing?'
If the answer fails to persuade you against leaving the job than go ahead and inform your employer of your decision. If the situation is otherwise find ways to motivate yourself to find a balance between the two.
Utilize every available free minute
Everyone has a fixed amount of time i.e. 24 hours a day but the amount of work that each one of us accomplishes in this fixed time period varies. How is that possible? Simple, some people are quite good at managing their time. They utilize every bit of free time available to them no matter how small the window. For example, you are a college student surely most of you must be using metro as a means to commute so, utilize the time you spend travelling in metro to do something useful. Similarly, you sometimes have a long break between lectures, utilize that time to revise your notes for the next lecture or do something productive.
Work out the best routine
Figure out the routine that suits you most. Like some students are comfortable studying at night hours and other prefer early mornings. Find out what time is more suitable similarly for the study place. Are you more comfortable in a group or studying alone. Are you more comfortable studying in the library or in your hostel room.
Ensure to get proper sleep
Sleep that's the first time on the list of things that can be easily sacrificed for college students. Staying awake and forcing your body to go on without proper rest by gulping down one cup after another of that strong coffee is not a good long term study habit. Taking proper sleep is not a waste of time but it helps your body relax and function more energetically and efficiently. What do you think would happen to any machine if you run it 24x7 without a break, the machine would break down after some time.
Same is the case with your body it needs rest and if you won't provide it with that, your body would force it upon you. Most times when miss your sleep at night completing projects don't you feel sleepy and tired next day during lectures you even steal a few minutes of sleep here and then. But what if you miss some important part of the lecture during that nap? So, ensure that you have a proper sleep and rest at night.
Finding the right balance between things is very important. This not just the case when juggling between your part-time job and your studies but, later in life you'd have to do that between many more important things. Take this phase in college as a learning and practice phases for things that will occur in later life. Also, develop the habit of setting priorities. Ask yourself why are you doing this and which one holds more weightage in life. Asking questions like these will help you make better decisions in life.
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