Juggling school full-time and two part-time jobs is tough work. In order to manage this balance act, I had a long road ahead of me!
I had to learn the hard way, but hopefully I can share my experience with you and spare you the same learning curve I had to overcome.
1. Find balance with organization
Carry a planner! It can be difficult to memorize everything you have planned or need to do with a busy schedule, but having a planner will keep you organized. Things I consider to be essential in my planner are both monthly and weekly spreads, and additional blank pages for notes. Another feature I look for is having a few pages dedicated to setting personal goals. To be honest, I think the most important use for your planner is journaling, so go crazy, get colorful, and be creative! I like to write poems, journal entries and even doodle in the margins. I also like to color coordinate due dates and appointments by dedicating a highlighted color to an activity or class—you can also use stickers to help you organize important information.
Invest in a planner which comes with all these added features, or build one yourself by downloading and printing free templates. No matter how you decide to go about obtaining an organizational structure, just know a planner should be unique to you and your needs as a student.
2. Maintain functionality
Find a backpack, bag or purse with dual functionality and is appropriate for both school and work. For some this is the same old Jansport backpack you’ve been carrying around for years, but for others this means it’s time to go shopping. I am fortunate enough to have an internship at a great engineering firm and the attire is professional dress. I invested in a black messenger bag which is functional enough to carry my books around at school, yet also work appropriate and professional enough to carry at work. Having a bag that’s functional for both school and work allows me to keep all my personal belongings in one place, and it helps prevent misplacing papers and assignment I worked so hard on for weeks. I’m sure it will do the same for you!
3. Apply what you learn!
Find a way to connect what you learn in the classroom to the skills you need to be a successful employee. This may be hard for someone who’s working a job seemingly unrelated to their degree path. However, even the most boring subjects can provide a foundation to develop a basic set of skills that will shape you into a well-rounded individual. Regardless of your job title, it’s important to find a balance relationship between school and work, finding these connections will positively impact you in both places! If you follow my advice and get creative with the process, you too will be unstoppable!
How do you balance school and work? Tell us in the comments below!
Alisia is a mechanical engineering student at The University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and holds an internship at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. After graduating with her bachelors, she wants to pursue her masters with a minor in environmental studies. With her degree, she hopes to develop alternative energy resources and create a sustainable environment.
Apart from her school extracurricular activities, she enjoys drawing, painting, and traveling. Within the next year, she plans to get involved with Give Volunteers, an organization that combines volunteer work and overseas travel to improve lives. Apart from helping others in developing countries obtain necessary resources, she is also passionate in helping other achieve their academic goals which is why she is so excited to be a Cengage Student Ambassador!