Juggling A Part Time Job While Being A Student

Tuesday: A few months ago, this relatively unsuspecting, always unexceptional day of the week became  the most hectic.

Tuesdays are very chaotic, as well as a lesson learned about balancing a part-time job while being a full-time student.

Every Tuesday for the past two semesters, I have woken up in the wee hours of the morning to start my full shift at work, commuted from my hometown to campus in the afternoon and stayed in class until late night hours.

It seems like an impossible schedule considering the workload from my classes, including assignments to complete and tests to study for.

In addition, there’s work shifts, extracurricular activities, events to attend, friends to meet up with and sheep to count.

As daunting a responsibility as simultaneously juggling work, school and a social life can be, it turned out to be surprisingly worth it. I am so glad that I took it on because the grueling schedule revealed so much about myself and my capabilities that I may not have known I was able to do.

Of course, concern over whether or not you will become overwhelmed with work and school is not ill-placed and I know firsthand that it can become stressful if you bite off more than you can chew.

The secret is to honestly ask yourself what you can realistically handle with your established schedule or personal routine, while taking into consideration your sleeping patterns and when you are most productive.

If you prefer to stay out late and sleep in for example, avoid jobs with morning shifts. If you live on the residential side of campus, an on-campus job between classes would most likely be the most convenient option for you.

 If sports practice dominates your Monday through Friday, you could try looking for a job with weekend availability.

Wherever and whenever you secure a position, make sure to communicate openly with your manager or supervisor so they understand your situation and adjust their expectations accordingly.

Whether you are a commuter like me or an on-campus resident, I still definitely recommend getting a job if you are considering it.

There are several advantages. First of all, you will master the ever elusive skill of time management by forcing yourself to plan ahead at the risk of losing your precious eight hours of sleep at the end of the day.

Procrastination and boredom become obsolete when you begin balancing your work, academic and social life. There is always something to finish doing and limited time to get it done.

In this way, whether you are using your time to write an essay or enjoy some downtime with friends or a good book, time becomes much more meaningful and wisely spent.

You may also want to find work relevant to your major as this will allow you to gain useful, valuable skills, knowledge and experience that you can apply in the future.

So get your job hunting boots on and have your résumés ready to fire. If anything, at least you will be able to earn extra money to spend on a little more than just Ramen Noodles and Pop-Tarts for dinner.