Juggling college study and full-time work can be a real challenge.
If you need to work full-time to pay your bills and put food on the table, but also need to study, you’re in the right place.
In this article, I’ll share 5 tips on how you can balance work and study. Let’s get started.
Is it possible to go to college while working full-time?
Believe it or not, each year many people decide to enroll in a college course whilst simultaneously continuing with full-time employment, and these people even have families and a social life. But how do they do it?
It is absolutely possible to study a college course whilst still working. In fact, there are many reasons why this is a great idea.
You can keep your income, meaning you don’t need to cut back on any spending or downgrade your living arrangements.
How hard is it to study while working full-time?
I will not sugarcoat it and pretend studying on the side of full-time work is a walk in the park. It is not, and it takes real dedication.
Although they won’t be financial, there will be sacrifices you will have to make.
Those weekly happy hour drinks may have to be sacrificed once in a while if you become a working student.
By no stretch does this mean you have to give up your entire existence to devote yourself to study, not at all.
But you will be faced with tempting social offers that you may have to turn down because of that paper deadline that is looming…
So, if you have decided to embark on college studies whilst keeping your job, congratulations!
It’s amazing that you are choosing to expand your horizons through education.
To help with your new journey, take a look at our 5 tips to balance work and study.
5 Tips For Balancing Work And Study
1. Hone your studying skills
It is arguable that the hardest challenge of being a working student is balancing the quantity of work expected from you.
Particularly at the college level, you will be asked to read a great deal of research and papers each week.
If it takes you an hour to read through a short research paper because a) you read quite slowly, or b) you get distracted easily, it is time to change up your technique.
There are many great tools online focused on how to read research papers effectively, use these!
2. Minimize all distractions
Following on from our ‘b’ point above, it is important to remove any unnecessary distractions whilst you are in study mode.
Of course, those reading this that are parents cannot simply turn off their child, and we are not suggesting this.
What we do suggest, however, is that the time you choose to dedicate to your studies is focused time.
This means, rather than sitting on your bed with an episode of ‘Friends’ playing in the background, go somewhere where you can get the most done with the least distractions.
3. Use your time wisely
To avoid becoming overwhelmed with the work and thinking it is impossible to work and study simultaneously, utilize your time effectively and maximize the time you have.
Think about all the odd parts of your day when you are not doing anything. Waiting at the dentist, on the subway, waiting for your child to finish their dance class.
These moments can be turned into mini-study sessions with just a few flashcards.
4. Prioritise your wellbeing
This one is super important. While it is amazing to be studying a college course whilst also working full time, do not let study get in the way of your health.
Do not sacrifice family time, exercise, or anything that is deeply important to you over study as this can lead to a downward spiral in your mental health.
If possible, take a day off if things are feeling a bit too much. This will let you reset and catch up on anything necessary.
5. Utilize your commute
Commuting. To many, this is seen as dead time either in the car or on public transport. Unless you work remotely, it likely takes you 20-30 minutes to get to work, if not more. That is nearly an hour of your day that you could use to study.
Now, if you drive to work, we are not recommending you read your notes while you drive. Instead, there are many options for how you can use this time to benefit your studies:
– Audio readings of your papers and/or textbooks.
– Replayed recorded lectures to recap course material. Play at increased speed if you are just reviewing information.
– Any content you are struggling to grasp, record yourself discussing the content, then listen through your commute.
Working While Studying
It will be hard while you adjust to your new routine. Keep your head up, and remember, your future self will thank you when you come out the end still financially stable, and full of new knowledge to take your next position.
Over to you
Share this with someone you know who is juggling work and study to help them in their journey!