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The Do’s and Don’ts of Balancing Work and School

For many college students, cash flow is small or non-existent. To resolve this problem students take on the task of balancing school with a part-time job. This is a great solution for students, but there is a right and wrong way to do it.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for balancing work and school properly:

DON’T

Become unorganized
If financial reasons have caused you to spread yourself thin, do it right. Be as organized as possible to optimize your time, and stay on top of work and school. Vocate recommends using google calendar to plan out your weeks to keep track of your schedule and effectively juggle your time throughout the day.

Lose sight of your goals
If your goal is to make money, try to work longer shifts. If your goal is to get straight A’s, work less to increase study time. Don’t get stuck overworking yourself because you are neglecting your goals. Make a plan, stick to that plan, while adjusting your goals as you see fit.

Spread yourself thin
Full-time class plus homework and extracurriculars quickly puts a dent in your free time. Don’t neglect your friends or what makes you happy. Having such little time for other activities can increase stress and leave you feeling unfulfilled. Make sure to make time for the little joys in life to make your busy weeks worthwhile.

DO

Take it slow
In your job search, take your time. Don’t rush into a part-time job just because it’s the first opportunity you find. Be patient – that perfect job that satisfies your needs will come around. Once you find that perfect job, take it one day at a time. If you start getting behind on classes, work less; and if you start getting behind on rent, work more. It can be easy to get caught up in a hectic weekly routine, but make sure you are balancing your days to best optimize your life balance.

Notify your manager
Don’t be nervous to tell your manager you can’t work the required minimum hours per week. Managers are generally very understanding of students needs and are aware that you need a cash flow for school. Vocate recommends starting with a commitment of 10 hours per week and from there determining if more work will meet your needs without spreading yourself too thin.

The most important part of having a part-time job during college is finding your perfect balance. Everyone is different and can handle varied workloads with different priorities. Make sure you find your perfect balance and make the most out of your precious college years. Just remember, when searching for a part-time job this fall, make it easy on yourself and sign up with Vocate to get matched to great companies!

Alex Macpherson

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