By: Contributor On: February 14, 2011 In: Academics, Jobs, Student Life Comments: 2

Students today have a lot to juggle: attending classes, writing papers, taking exams, extracurricular activities, an  active college social life… and then, a job?!

Balancing school and work can be challenging. But it’s possible to achieve – without losing your mind.

Use this list of five handy tips to achieve school/work balance in your life.

1. Get organized.

Make sure you have some kind of organizer, whether it’s a fancy electronic calendar app on your iPhone or an old-fashioned, ring-bound agenda planner. Enter everything you need to do into it, even if it’s a weekly event you’d be unlikely to forget, like your Monday afternoon drama class.

If you add items to your schedule on a regular basis, it will be easier to balance school and work as you’ll have your entire schedule visually represented. Also, be sure to add major items like exams, paper deadlines and work meetings so you can keep an eye on upcoming events.

2. Prioritize your study time.

Holding down a job during college is a great idea. It looks fantastic on your resume and, of course, the cash flow doesn’t hurt! However, your school work shouldn’t suffer as a result.

Be sure to schedule time for reading, writing papers and studying. Treat it like an appointment that you can’t break and make sure you use that time for text books — not Facebook.

3. Don’t overbook your schedule.

If you want to balance school and work successfully, you want to be sure you don’t overbook your schedule. Double-check your planner/agenda before you add any new tasks or events that might cause a time crunch.

Also, make sure you don’t take on too many extracurricular activities. While extracurricular activities can look great on a resume, they won’t look so great next to a failing GPA.

4. Ask for time off.

Achieving an effective balance between school and work may require you to sometimes choose one over the other. As soon as you recognize a time when you will be especially busy with schoolwork, like midterm week, ask for time off from work.

It can be nerve-wracking, but if you ask for time off well in advance and are otherwise diligent about balancing school and work, your boss should be okay with it. It’s better than saying you can work a shift and then failing to show up because you had to cram for a final!

5. Make time for sleep.

Sleep is a common casualty of the scramble to balance school and work. Adequate sleep should be a non-negotiable item on your schedule.

Cheating on sleep comes at a price: studies have shown that people who haven’t gotten enough sleep take longer to do tasks and perform less efficiently.

By avoiding college insomnia, you can help make sure that your waking hours are more productive and that you are mentally prepared to balance school and work.

Juggling a hectic schedule can be tough for students – follow these tips to maintain a healthy balance between school and work.

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9 years ago

In terms of scheduling, I would add one more tip: pencil in unusual breaks in your routine! If you know in advance that your Monday class won’t be meeting during a given week, mark that down in your planner. The only thing worse than showing up for a class that was cancelled weeks ahead of time is knowing that that time could have been spent doing something else — probably sleeping!

Kob W
Kob W
7 years ago

College life is thrilled with stress, i am an internation student in the MU, sometimes its really hard to balancce school and life, i would like get involved a lot club or events, but just, you know, no time, always rush .