Apartment Living BlogOff-campus Living › Work Full Time and Still Be Successful in College

There are many benefits of going to college aside from helping you find better career options and become financially stable. Higher education helps you improve your communication and decision-making skills, it gives you opportunities to make connections and learn from peers of different backgrounds, and countless other social experiences that will enrich your life. But if you’re a full-time student and work full time, there are many challenges that may make balancing your life stressful. This is especially true if you’re on your own, returning to finish school or are starting later in your life, or also trying to balance a family. But it can be done! Here’s how you can work full time and still be successful in college.

Set Realistic Goals

By now you should be familiar with your work ethics and time management skills. A full-time student schedule is typically 12 to 15 credit hours, which is on average 3 to 5 courses per semester. Yet, you can still succeed academically as long as you remain focused and don’t take on too many courses. Have honest objectives, pick and choose what leisure activities (and even responsibilities) you’ll have to sacrifice, and work equally hard at your job and in your classes. Nowadays, many schools offer online courses that help meet your lifestyle needs. Consider this option when picking classes, particularly ones you may not be too excited about that are a graduation requirement. Another option is to stretch out your semesters and consider summer school. It’s a lot easier to stretch out your time over a period of years rather than trying to do too much all at once.

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Get Ahead

Even if your time management skills aren’t the best, you can improve by strengthening your organizational skills. Organize your days, week, and month ahead of time. Make a schedule for when you plan to study either before or after work or both. Perhaps you can do your reading during breakfast and research or homework a few moments after getting home from work. Just be sure not to wait until the last minute to where you lose sleep and gain stress. Have a designated location either in your home, a library, or a conference room at work to do your school work. The more organized with your time and responsibilities you are, the more likely you are to stick to your own plan.

Communicate with Your Employer

If you already have a job, it’s a good idea to let your employer know. There will come a time, particularly during exams, that your stress levels increase and it may affect your work. Some employers are flexible and may adjust your work schedule to help meet your school needs. If you’re studying something that will help you become a more knowledgeable employee in the industry you’re in, it will also look good to your company. Many companies have tuition-assistance for this very reason.

If you do not already have a job or are thinking of finding a new one, consider either working on campus because your manager already understands the demands college requires, or try to work in a field related to your studies. Getting hands-on learning could help you with your studies and vice versa.

Communicate with your Professors

Let your professors know that you also work full time. Perhaps, like your boss, they too will be flexible like when it comes to their office hours if you need to ask questions after class, or maybe even an assignment deadline. They’re also a great resource on how to best approach your school work if you ever find yourself not understanding certain subject matters instead of spending countless hours studying to no avail and stressing. Use every resource available to you; you’d be surprised how many people are willing to help you.

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Make Every Minute Count

You’re going to want to commit every waking second doing something that will improve your current life. Read while you eat, make a learning connection between your job and your school work, study and do your homework when you say you’re going to do it. Even on the weekends or your days off. If you’re really feeling the pressure, involve your friends and family to help you. Set a few minutes aside and let them test you with flashcards. You can accomplish a lot in 24 hours if you really strive. But once you let yourself fall behind, it can be a slippery slope and hard to get caught up.

Don’t Forget About Yourself

This may seem contradictory to the previous point, but make sure to take time out for yourself to decompress. You may want to include an exercise routine to help you relieve stress and help you transition your focus from work to school. Treat yourself from time to time by going shopping or eating at a nice restaurant. Take up a hobby or activity that serves as a creative outlet and helps you work on other skills like teambuilding and communication. Whatever you can do to take a few breathes away from work and school to find yourself again, do that.

Remember Your Bottom Line

Don’t forget why you are in school. You are doing this to improve your life, open up opportunities, and help you become more stable. Do not give up and always know there are people all around you willing to help. The world is rooting for you, not against you.

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Are you a full-time student and full-time worker? What helps you stay balanced? Share your experience in the comment section.

About :

Rafael (Raf) is the Targeted Content Writer & Strategist for ForRent.com, CorporateHousing.com, After55.com, and ForRentUniversity.com. He helps create, edit, and plan content that connects current and potential renters with apartment and property managers and owners. When Raf isn’t busy writing, he spends a great deal of his time performing sketch and improv comedy, hanging out at the beach, and looking at memes on the Internet.

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