There’s no doubt that working full time and going to school can be challenging. There’s only so much time in a day to get things done. As such, it may feel like an overwhelming or daunting situation. However, there are many ways to make working full time and going to school full time an achievable venture.
With attendance in nontraditional online universities continuing to increase, working while in school is becoming more popular and doable. While attending an online school, you have more flexibility and control over your schedule.
However, even if you attend a traditional campus, you can still make working full time doable. Here’s a look at how to do it.
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Pros of Having a Job While in School
For starters, maintaining a job while in school may or may not be a choice for you. Regardless of your situation, there are many benefits to being employed while getting an education.
The most obvious benefit of having a job is making an income. This will not only help you pay for school, but it also helps you avoid loans and interest. Furthermore, you need money to maintain your life — paying bills, raising a family, buying food, etc.
2. Employee Benefits:
If you’re a full-time employee, chances are you are receiving benefits. These can include paid time off, health care, pension, and more.
3. Real-World Skills:
When you go to school, you’re learning formally to work on the job. When you’re already on the job, you are mastering skills and learning from real-world experience. This experience helps you propel forward in your career.
4. Professional Mindset:
Being in the workplace teaches you how to adopt a professional mindset. This includes good communication skills, overcoming challenges, working with others, and positioning yourself to continue to improve.
5. Increased Opportunities:
Being in a workplace will open up the doors to career progression and career development, both during school and upon graduation.
6. Enhanced Classroom Learning:
More often that not, you will be able to apply what you learn both on the job and in the classroom to one another. This will benefit you in both places.
7. Post-Graduation Freedom:
If you hold down a job while in college, you already have somewhere to be when you graduate. Whether you choose to stay in that role or not, you will have a leg up on your competition in the application process as your resume will showcase your experience.
8. Complete Your Degree Faster:
Instead of opting for part-time enrollment, you will be able to complete your degree in less time when you study full-time.
Cons of Working Full Time and Going to School
The main challenges when it comes to working full time and going to school full time are seemingly obvious. They may be:
Say you have a big upcoming test and a deadline at work. These conflicting big milestones make balancing time difficult. A good way to manage such events is to have a calendar and schedule a time for each. You really have to have a good hold on your time management skills to be successful on the job and in the classroom.
You’ll need to properly manage your time to keep a grasp on your energy and attention levels. Imperative to this feat is getting enough sleep, eating properly, and practicing stress-relieving techniques.
Depending on your program, the flexibility of class times may be limited. In the same way, your employer may expect you in the office or working online at certain times. Setting up a schedule that’s conducive to both may take some compromise and/or sacrifice.
Methods For Managing Work and School
When it comes to managing work and school at the same time, there are many methods that can be of use to you.
Take a look at these for inspiration:
1. Remember the Reason
Most people don’t opt for this type of challenge for fun. You have your reasons for attending school and working at the same time, and it’s important to remind yourself of them when the going gets tough. Whether you’re supporting a family, offsetting student loans, or taking care of a dependent, never forget why you started. Use this as motivation to help you get through it.
2. Speed Up Your Reading
You’re undoubtedly going to be assigned a lot of reading in college. As such, if you can finish it more quickly, you can have more time for work and rest. Here are a few ways to help improve your reading speed.
3. Take Breaks
Divide your time between working and studying. Don’t be afraid to take breaks. Breaks are needed to regain energy and absorb what you have learned.
4. Maximize Your Time
Many minutes pass that you don’t even think about. If you are waiting in line for a doctor, then try studying with flashcards. If you’re sitting in a car or on a train during your commute, consider listening to a podcast about something you’re learning. Download apps on your phone that can help you learn so that any given extra moment, you can utilize it for good.
5. Be Communicative
Be sure that your manager and professors are aware of your situation. If you don’t speak up, you may be assuming that people understand your struggle. But, the truth is, if they did, they will be able to better assist you through balancing work and school. This may happen in the form of flexible scheduling at work or extended deadlines for school assignments.
6. Stay Organized
One of the top solutions for being able to keep your time in order and your things is place is organization. Using organization skills to your benefit will both save time and alleviate stress. For example, you should organize your files on your computer for school. At the same time, you can have different physical notebooks and color-coded notes for easy access and speed reading. Moreso, having a dedicated study area that is uncluttered can assist you to be able to stay more focused.
7. Practice Self-Care
Practicing self-care is one of the most important things you can do. There are many different modes of self-care, including knowing when to take a break, being able to say no, limiting your digital time, pampering yourself, sleeping well, taking part in social activities that you like, and so on. Finding the right balance between work and play can help you to avoid burnout.
8. Take Vacation
Speaking of avoiding burnout, it’s good to take time off. Whether this means taking a vacation and getting out of town, or simply having a day off to manage your mental health, vacation time is often encouraged by employers. Employers understand that employees are human, too. The best way to retain a good workforce is to ensure they are happy and motivated. Vacation plays a role in generating these feelings.
9. Trust Your Skills
Understand your limits and know your skills. It will help to get a job doing something you are actually good at so you feel motivated by your success. These skills will translate between work and school to promote your growth.
10. Plan a Study Day
If you have a big upcoming test or school deadline that seems too overwhelming, consider requesting a day off from work before. You can plan this day and dedicate all your time to getting what you need to do so that you alleviate stress and can perform at your highest level.
Tips to Make it Work
Along with methods for balance, be sure to consider the following to help you financially and emotionally with working full time and going to school:
- Apply for grants and scholarships
- Get your family on board
- Ask for help
- Create a study environment
- Practice time management tricks
- Reward Yourself
Things To Know About Working While Going to School
You are not alone in this worthwhile adventure. You should know that most students work while in school. In fact, 25% work full time. Other important statistics include their motivations and strategy:
- They do it to pay for college
- They try to work in the field of their major
- ⅓ of students still work at the same job from before college
- Working improves school performance
Can You Do It?
Sure, you can. Everyone will face their own personal share of difficulties in the process. But you’re never alone. There’s supportive resources from your school as well as in the workforce to help you accomplish your goals.
The Benefits of Online College
One of the best ways to manage working and going to school is by attending online university. Programs like those from the University of the People offer:
- Increased flexibility and scheduling
- The opportunity to study from anywhere
- A diverse student body from around the world
- Zero commute time (this means you can really maximize every minute of your day!)
- Option to transfer units that you’ve previously earned elsewhere
- The opportunity to enroll part-time or full-time
- An affordable alternative to traditional college
Additionally, to prevent any additional financial stress, the University of the People’s programs are tuition-free, you will only need to pay a one-time $60 enrollment fee and for your final exams. If even this is a bit difficult, you can try to find out if you’re eligible for any of our scholarships.
The Bottom Line
Working full time and going to school is undoubtedly a challenging task, but it is definitely doable. Most students work while in school and the many benefits make it worth it. If you find the right methods to balance both, you can help yourself excel both professionally and academically at the same time.
If you are looking to make working and earning your education more amenable to your current situation, take a look at accredited programs offered by the University of the People today!