7 tips for working full-time through college

7 Tips for Working Full-Time Through College

One hundred and forty four percent. 

That is how much the average cost of tuition and fees at US private colleges has risen in the past twenty years. With the cost being so high, students are often finding themselves working, sometimes full-time, throughout college. 

It might be scary, but it is possible. Following these 7 tips will help you keep on track and optimize your college experience. 

Get Organized 

Organization is equivalent to efficiency and being efficient is key to optimizing your time when you’re balancing a full-time job and school. Consider using a planner, whether digital or physical, to keep track of your time. You could be extremely strict with your planner and plan every minute of every day or you could be more relaxed with it. Find a way that works best for you. 

Some planners also incorporate to-do lists into their layout, but if yours doesn’t or using a planner doesn’t work for you, consider making a to-do list. You can handwrite it or use a digital platform like Asana. Knowing what you need to get done will help keep you organized. 

Hone Your Time Management Skills

Managing your time flows naturally with getting organized, but sometimes we all struggle with it. Honing in on your time management skills can help you become more productive in both work and school. Here are a few time management tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid to limit what you will say yes to. 
  2. Use your energy wisely and don’t be afraid to take breaks.
  3. Prioritize what needs to be done and set a plan/time to accomplish it.
  4. Avoid multitasking.
  5. Start your day earlier.

Understand Your Motivations

Think about why you are choosing to work full-time while going to school. Is it an intrinsic motivation or is it extrinsic? Is it because you can’t afford it otherwise? Or because you recognize the need to build your career? Whatever your motivation may be, understanding the why behind it can help to influence the satisfaction you feel when accomplishing something that leads towards your goals. 

Recognizing your motivation will help you to understand what you need to do to build and sustain the momentum to allow you to continue on and reach your goals. 

Work and Study in Separate Areas

Most people realize that you shouldn’t eat food in your bed. You can get crumbs in your sheets and the potential for spilling whatever it is you’re eating is increased compared to when you’re eating at a table. Working and studying in the same area is pretty similar. 

Going to school online brings what would normally take place in a classroom setting to your home. Set up a specific space for that so that you aren’t tempted to work on other things or nap if you decide to use your bed as your school space. Similarly, if you also work from home, having a separate, specific workspace dedicated to your job would also be beneficial. Having those separate spaces allows for a certain mindset to take over when you sit down.

Look for the Right Job

Not every full-time job easily lends itself to balancing work and school. Some employers will work with you to increase the job’s flexibility, but there are a number of jobs that are primed for students to be able to do while going to school. Consider online tutoring, tour guides, or even something related to your field of study. 

For example, you can work in a business administration role while studying for your bachelor’s in business administration can help you grow your skills and apply them directly to your degree.

Communicate Often

No matter what job you have while attending school and working, communicating with both your work and professors is vital. Don’t just wait until something happens. Be upfront and honest with both your professors, managers, and support staff. That way if something happens, there is already an open line of communication with the people who matter. They can’t help you without knowing what is going on. Communication is key. 

Don’t Forget Self-Care

We’re prone to over-work ourselves, driving our brains and bodies to burn out. Working full-time and going to school is a lot for a person, but it is 100% possible. Just be sure to make time for self-care. What self-care means can depend on a person. 

Some people thrive in the outdoors, and working and going to school can take away from someone’s ability to hike or climb. If that is your version of self-care, take the time to make sure you get outside. 

Other people might thrive on meditation or on baking the perfect loaf of sourdough bread. Whatever is your version of self-care, make sure to make time for it as often as possible. 

Take care of yourself through all of this. Burning out because you’re overworking and not taking care of yourself is not okay. Drink enough water, get some exercise, and sleep between 7-9 hours a night. Your body, and your mind, will thank you. 

Request information today in order to find out how Gordon College can help you succeed in tackling your goals. 

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