Working and Studying. Is it Possible?

I work with two gorgeous, smart, fun and amazing ladies. Not something special, right? Well, what makes them special to me is that they are both working full time while studying towards their degrees. To me, that is amazing. I mean, I have the attention span of a three year old.
Because of them I decided to write this little article. I hope that you are as inspired by them as I am.

Working and studying only works if you time manage like a boss and by balancing your life very carefully. You have to make peace with late nights and early mornings. A schedule is super important, and sticking to it, it will make the work/ study balance easier. Try to be ahead of your schedule with assignments and project. And very importantly make time for yourself, family and friends.

Pace yourself, chances are that you will have work and study deadlines that will overlap. If your time management is on point you will not be overwhelmed. You do not want to burn out with too many responsibilities all at once. They also suggest that you should start small, take a few modules at first and when you feel more confident then you can take on more.

The obvious benefit is that you earn money while you study. This is a no-brainer! But, and this is a big one, you get work experience that is worth so much more than money. Employers are reluctant to employ anyone who does not have work experience.

Another benefit that might not be obvious is that you learn to become an independent, reliable adult. We all want to be independent! At work you have to own your mistakes, mom does not make sure you have lunch or eat properly. The biggest lesson you can learn through is that the consequences of your actions have real word effects.

So far is sounds pretty awesome right? But as with anything there are a few drawbacks. According to my muses one of the biggest drawbacks is the loss of free time. You have less time to socialize and might even lose a few friends who do not understand that you are busy. And really, it’s them not you.

As I am sure you can deduce, staying organized is a priority. Having a physical as well as electronic calendar (with reminders) will be very helpful. Colour coding will make this easier as well, as you can see what is work and what is your studies.

This is not going to be an easy learning but with discipline, determination and dedication you can make this work. Remember to take care of your mental, physical and emotional health. Take a break when you need it and learn to enjoy a nap from time to time. Ask for help when you need it, even if that help is just a hug.

Here are the top ten tips for working while studying:

  1. Be nice to yourself and forgive yourself. You cannot do everything.
  2. Make time for yourself, your family and your friends
  3. Don’t overwork yourself, burnout is real
  4. Read your essays and course work out loud, this will help you remember things easier
  5. Find a form of time management that works for you at that time. As you take on more study material or work responsibilities this will change
  6. In the same vein, find out what your best study method is, this too might change as you get older
  7. Don’t leave things for the last minute!
  8. Lean from mistakes, yours and others
  9. Regularly communicate your journey with your supervisor, manager or boss. This will make your work life a little less stressful.
  10. Pace yourself, start small and grow as you get more confident.

Keep the end result in mind. The effort will be worth your while.

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