Are you about to become an employee but don’t yet have a degree? It’s a challenge — not to mention daunting if you haven’t even started college yet — but you can succeed.
A Georgetown University’s study found that over 25 percent of students combined full-time employment with full-time college enrollment in 2015. For many students, it’s the only way to deal with tuition, fees, room and board. Their total cost ranges from $18,943 in public colleges to $42,419 in private universities. Unfortunately, even having a full-time job, a student won’t cover a loan debt of $30,100.
Such financial stresses can be devastating but there are things you can learn that will help you both now and in the future. For example, you can develop an ability to plan and work within strict deadlines.
If you’ve faced a necessity to combine both full-time occupations make sure you know how to tackle it. Ask yourself what goals you plan to achieve by the end of the year and what KPIs will define their success.
Here are some tips that can be useful for a working student.
1. Use tools to plan and remember things.
Be both a planner and executor. Many people like to plan a lot and might get bored completing each task. A working student doesn’t have that luxury.
Be both a planner and an executor. Your memory may let you down so plan tasks so you don’t forget them. Create a schedule and use professional tools to help you with time management. Some of our suggestions are mobile apps so you can access them at any time place. There are hundreds of “to do” apps and tools to help conquer your bad planning habit. Trello is also a great virtual planner. It’s simple structure allows you to see all your past, current, and future tasks. Todoist is another task manager that includes motivating reminders to complete a task, even if you’ve missed the deadline. And it automatically synchronizes on all devices. Lastly, Evernote allows you to write down ideas that always slip out of your mind on the way to work.
2. Prioritize and stay focused.
Write a “10 important thing to do today” note at the beginning of each day, and mark what is a priority and what isn’t. Use the hotel 5-start system (5 stars for urgent, 1 star for not-so-urgent) or exclamation marks to note what’s important. Try not to scatter your focus. Even if your due date has past (and you still need to complete the task), stay focused. Learn how to take decisions and prioritize when all points in your to-do list seem equally important. If you feel like panicking begin with the required time for each task. Then compare it with the priority signs and you’ll see what should be done first.
Pro tip: Keep your work and school to-do lists seperate. Mixing them only weakens your concentration and lowers the quality of your performance.
3. Find yourself a tutor for the weakest subjects.
You can’t be good at everything. Thus, if you feel some subjects are difficult to master, you should consider hiring a professional tutor. It will save you lots of time and help you become more confident in lecture. For working students, Skype lessons are the best alternative. You can have a lesson at any time comfortable for you and a teacher. One of the services you can use to seek for a tutor is Preply. It has gathered native speakers of all languages in one place. As usually, the charge depends on credentials and experience of a tutor. Apart from these criteria, pay attention to the people’s reviews and a set of skills your tutor obtains.
4. Stop struggling with a work-study-life balance.
There are thousands of articles on the art of balancing. Some bloggers recommend yoga and meditation, but that’s two extra hours of your day. Our tip? Stop struggling for balance and stick to the initial plan. Balance and harmony are too elusive for a working student. When your efforts become useless, you may feel disappointed and frustrated.
5. Eat, sleep and give yourself one full day of rest.
Put your health and well-being above all your errands. These things mostly depend on what you eat and how well you rest. You cannot function efficiently without a balanced diet and at least 7 hours of sleep. When you choose between getting to bed or finishing your homework, always choose the former. There’s no point trying to do schoolwork when you’re sleepy and low on energy. You can finish the same task twice as fast in the morning with a clear mind and relaxed eyes. Be attentive and listen to yourself working and studying full-time.