My collegiate experience is something that I will never forget: the feeling of freedom, new friends, late nights, and not to mention hard work! The work I mention goes without saying when you consider college coursework, but I also had to work outside of my duties for classes.
I personally found a way to turn in all my assignments, attend a multitude of social events, and yes, make a little money while in college. I did encounter a few bumps in the road while trying to balance both school and work. Let me assure you, as I had to discover for myself, that everything works out in the end. Here is my equation for balancing work and school.
Finding a Job
I looked for jobs that worked with my class schedule and not the other way around. Remember, you are at college to get an education. One job I had while in school was at a local sandwich shop. It was a great arrangement. I set my schedule to come in a few days a week after all my classes were finished for the day. I would come in around 4:30 and work until 10. This allowed me time to go home and finish up any remaining school work, make it out with some friends, or hang out and relax.
Studying at Work
As things slowed down after the dinner rush, I would simply ask my manager if I could do a little school work as long as there were no customers needing help. I did not pull out my laptop and loads of notes to write my mid-term paper that was due the next day. I brought a couple of textbooks and a highlighter. Work is the perfect place to knock out a few chapters to keep up with all of the reading. Trust me, there will be plenty.
Missing the Fun
There are going to be times when your work schedule is going to conflict with something fun like a party or the big game. One of the most important things to establish with your manager before you work your first hour is your time off. It always seemed to me that everything fun happened when I had to go to work. This was not the case. I always made sure I had a weekday night off and a weekend night off that was devoted to enjoying the social side of college. Making time for yourself and friends will make balancing school and work seem a little less stressful.
Find a schedule that works for you. This is the best way to create a successful and awesome experience at college. Find a job that works with your class schedule
and a manager that is willing to acknowledge that you are in school. Getting school work off your list while working your job leaves you more time for the fun stuff at school. Make time for yourself – those are the times that truly make the college experience.