Being solely a student and a regular college-goer may sound like a lot on some people’s plates. Honestly, who are we to blame them? You are assigned work to be done by a due date, you do your best to maintain a high GPA, you keep your eyes on the prize to graduate and ace your career, and above all, still be able to build a balanced social life. On the other side of the coin, college years are when most people realize the urge of being independent and hunt for a job to start earning money by the sweat of their brow. Here are six important insights you might want to review if you are planning on taking the hard road:
Leave No Time for Procrastination
For many, this rule is a hard one to follow since we as a generation are known for doing things last-minute. With all the means of entertainment available at our fingertips, it takes persistence to block all the noise and work on that assignment you have been putting off for a while. You will even find yourself multitasking since the luxury of not finishing your college work day by day will no longer be an option; you will sometimes have to get things done on the subway or read that passage while having lunch. Always believe that you have more time than you think. This is a huge plus regardless of whether or not you have a job; you always have one less thing to worry about, hence, you get plenty of time to do things alongside university, be it exercising, socializing, or practicing a hobby of yours.
Always Plan for the Unexpected
Although you should try to stick to your schedule, at both your job and classes, you should allow a buffer for when unexpected things come up. You will find professors taking up extra classes, especially that they think their students are dedicated to education, and only education. This might even come in the form of an exam that does not go with your working hours or a short-notice meeting that overlaps with one of your lectures. This can simply be overcome by keeping everyone informed, whether your boss or your Teaching Assistant. Not to mention, working for an employer who respects the fact that you are a student will help big time, and notifying your professor about your situation would make them a little flexible as long as they can see your effort.
Concessions Will Have to Be Made Sometimes
One of the great lessons you are going to learn as a working student is that you will have to change your perspective on fun and gratification. You will have to raincheck that outing at times to study and make up for the time you spent working. While this might seem a bummer, think of the bigger picture here. Are you doing this to be able to afford your lifestyle? To save up for your dream car? To prove to your parents you are up to the challenge and can take responsibility? Things will begin to come into perspective when you keep in mind the reason you chose to work while studying. You can stay focused on your goal by creating a vision board of your ideal life, letting your friends and family know about it, and asking them to constantly remind you. This does not mean you will cut back on all the gang’s tootles, you can still manage to show up to some, it’s all about when to do it. Do not ever give in to the idea that you are wasting the days of your life while guys your age are in full swing; just because you are spending your college years differently does not mean you are missing out on your youth. Have faith that it will be worth it, and well, everything comes in time after all.
Once You Start, You Can Never Stop
Your first payday is beyond wordly expression. It marks a step closer towards self-development and motivates you to keep knocking yourself out to come up with more of that paycheck. Earning money will affect a lot of your daily decisions, probably for the better; you will start going shopping at some shops you never went to, you will take that extra whip on your coffee that used to be out of your budget. Basically, your lifestyle will be put on a whole different track. You will always want more, and you’ll be like “keep ‘em coming”, which might be a blessing and a curse simultaneously. If you ever decide to leave your job for one reason or another, you are likely to have a hard time adapting to your old habits and be once again dependent on your parents, it will then be tough to see all those things go. It is always a good idea to learn to control your emotions and feelings of being a moneymaker. This would perhaps require creating a spending budget by writing down your essential and not-so-essential expenses in order to track them down. This will help you in the long run when/if you couldn’t keep a lance between your job and studies and had to shelve the whole concept of doing both in parallel.
Your Sleeping Schedule Will Be Crucial
Having a heavy work schedule and studying will inevitably cause you to cut back on sleep every once in a while, mostly if it’s a full-time job. It will probably have you turn to caffeine, which may sound okay at first but won’t be practical eventually for both your physical and mental health. Maintaining a balanced sleep schedule is a major key to recharge your batteries for the next day; it can boost your brain and body’s performance, improve your memory and productivity, and help you process information faster, which are all the essence of acing a working and studying life. Besides, you can
always take the naps you failed to get on the weekends to make up for the amount of sleep your body needs and start off a new week with brand new energy.
Take Time to Reflect
As a working student, it always feels like you are swamped into tasks and chasing after deadlines, but it’s important to slow down for a minute and look back on the progress and achievements you have made. Giving yourself credit is unquestionably vital in making it work. Pat on your own back after getting that A on the exam you have been studying hard for, treat yourself even. Preen yourself on the person you are today and how going through it all developed your character. Needless to say, it is of great consequence to evaluate the downs too. Go over the past period of time and see what areas you need to work on more. Questions like: “Can I better? Is there more to give? Is every aspect of my life taking its fair share?” will help allocate your resources and learn from your mistakes.
Bottom line, no one said sustaining a job alongside going to school is easy, however, it will require some effort and time management to pull off. It has countless pros from contributing to your growth and maturation to preparing you for professional life after graduating. When taking such an important decision, bear in mind, not because it worked for someone it will for you, you will know when you’re ready. If you ever want to give it a go but you have doubts, don’t be harsh on yourself as it’s never too late to take a step backward and focus your energy on one thing at a time. It takes courage to admit it is not time yet.