It goes without saying — working during your university studies can greatly benefit your future for a multitude of reasons. You can make new contacts, acquire new skills to show off on your CV, and even improve your financial situation.
However, juggling work and study can become quite tricky, as you must divide your time between an academic and working schedule. For those of you who find it challenging to balance studying with your job or an internship — we've got you covered! Here are five of our best tips to combat stress as a working student.
1. Plan ahead.
Cramming and writing your essay the night before is the last thing you want to do. Your university work requires full engagement and concentration! So, prioritizing and planning is your best protection against deadlines creeping up on you.
Use that nice journal you bought, or write your tasks down and make a to-do list! Making the effort to keep track of your assignments will not only remind you to complete them on time, but also give you a sense of accomplishment.
2. Be aware of your limits.
Committing to more work than you can handle is very common, so don’t panic. Ask yourself — "How much work can I cope with?" And again, prioritize and decide what you need to do first.
Studying should, without a doubt, be your main priority. Working should just be a source of financial support that you might need, and a way to gather extra experience. So understand and honor your limits, and ensure that you don’t stress more than you’re meant to. Explain your situation to your manager, and make sure you don’t burn out! The best way to do this is to mention that you are studying during your job interview before you start working.
3. Use your time wisely!
To be able to balance work and study, you will need to make sure that the time you spend studying is time well spent. Be productive! Study in short periods with breaks to ensure you stay focused and avoid procrastination. Turn off social media and prepare some snacks. Getting rid of distractions and using incentives will help you get your university work done faster.
And by doing this, you'll have more time to relax, or perhaps even pick up an extra shift at work if you need to. Remember, you're a student! Make the most of your university experience, and set aside time to kick back and have fun with your friends.
4. Communicate with your employer.
Should you decide to work during your studies, it's crucial to maintain a good relationship with your manager. Communicate openly and honestly about how you're handling everything. University is demanding enough as it is, so make sure you're straightforward about your availability and state any concerns you might have.
Will it be too much work for you? Be vigilant of this, and don't overextend yourself. If you don't have enough time to commit to a part-time job, you can check out alternative ways to make money. How about a weekend job? It’s a great way to gain experience without having to worry about it interfering with your studies!
5. Get enough rest and prioritize your health.
Remaining healthy both physically and mentally is key! Keep in mind that you are still growing, and you need to take special care of your health. Sleep a minimum of 7 to 8 hours, or at least try to. This will strengthen your immune system, benefit your memory, and help you cope with stress much better.
Also, be sure to eat nutritious food throughout the day to keep your energy up. We get that takeaway can be tempting, but while you're balancing your busy schedule, try aiming for a more balanced diet as well!
And don’t use lame excuses. Roasting some veggies will take up the same amount of time as ordering a pizza from Domino’s, not to mention it's also better for your budget! There are so many delicious, budget-friendly recipes you can whip up in no time.
Hopefully, these tips will make your life easier if you work and study at the same time. It is an experience that will change your life and the way you see the world of work. If you’re new to getting a job or internship and want a new adventure, you might want to check out some more helpful tips to succeed in your job interviews and first days at work!
About the author
Andrea Cánovas writes for StudentJob Spain, an online portal that aims to help connect students with companies and improve their job hunting experience. If you are looking for a job but not sure where to start, then this could be a great place to do so.