Young people traditionally used to dedicate themselves solely to studying. However, more and more prefer to both study and work during their time at university, either to have greater financial freedom or to cover unforeseen expenses.
This decision must be taken with care, since there is a risk of neglecting studies and as a result, diminishing academic performance. If you are thinking of studying and working at the same time, we will tell you what the key points are to assuming both responsibilities successfully.
Look for job options at the university
If your priority is studying and you just need extra income, the best option is to find a job at the university. Many offer financial aid programs in which students can be:
- Administration assistants
- Academic tutors
- Library assistants
The advantage of getting such a job is that you will be able to adjust work schedules so that they do not coincide with your classes. Also, your supervisors will be more understanding when you need to leave early to prepare for an exam or presentation.
Relate your job to your studies
In case you cannot find a job at your university, another excellent option is to look for a job related to your studies.
Many companies hire students part-time. The greatest advantage of these jobs is that they serve to deepen the knowledge obtained in the university, in addition to applying them in a real environment beyond the classroom.
It is also very likely that you can use what you learned at work to complete an assignment or presentation, and vice versa.
Consider that if your job is not related to your studies, you will have to invest more energy in learning and applying new concepts, so you will feel more tired at the end of the day.
Analyse how much time you can dedicate to work
Take into account how long you spend at university each day, as well as the amount of time you need to do homework, eat, and rest. The remaining time is what you could dedicate to working.
It is important to do this analysis honestly. Above all, to avoid making your schedule too tight, which ends up causing stress, eating problems, and poor academic performance.
Define a detailed schedule
Get into the habit of making a weekly plan and make sure you set aside enough time for studying and doing your homework. This way, you won’t forget your responsibilities for university, and you will have time set aside to be able to meet them.
As you complete the activities in your weekly plan, cross them off and see which activities are still pending. In the long term, this way of organising will allow you to balance your work life and your education in the best way.
Develop an efficient routine
To achieve a good balance between work and studying, you will need to be efficient. Otherwise, your university responsibilities will pile up and you will feel like you don’t have enough time to get it right.
The most important thing about creating a routine is to accomplish each task on time. And a good trick to achieve this is to maintain an organised lifestyle.
- Make sure you have a tidy room, with set places for each of your belongings.
- Always have a calendar handy with the activities to undertake and the important dates marked (days of exams, presentations, delivery of projects, etc.)
- Have a study space with everything related to university (notes, books, documents, materials, etc.)
These little organising tasks will save you time, as you won’t have to spend hours looking for where you wrote the assignment or what the next exam is about.
In the same way, we recommend that when you have several pending tasks, you start with the most complex and save the simplest for last. Thus, you will better focus your mental effort.
Take time to relax
Even if it seems like you don’t have free time, it’s important to take a break to relax and clear your mind. You can’t study and work all the time! Consider planning an outing with friends, doing physical activity, or taking a walk around town.
Resting is ultimately crucial to taking care of your mental health and recharging energy to keep up with responsibilities.
Get enough sleep
Good sleep is essential to have mental clarity the next day. If you don’t, you won’t have the energy to pay attention to classes, plus you’ll start to make mistakes at work.
If your job is very demanding and that causes you trouble sleeping, we suggest you change it for another that better suits your life as a university student.
Eat a healthy diet
Studying and working together often leads to a somewhat hectic lifestyle. One of the consequences is to start eating unhealthy fast foods, or worse, to stop eating when you should.
Remember that your health also depends on your diet. It is best to prepare your meals at home and take them with you to eat during breaks.
Studying at university and working at the same time is challenging, but not impossible when you organise your routine correctly.