WORKING 9 TO 5 ?
For many college students, having to hold down a
part-time or even full-time job is one that is a harsh reality. Not all of us have parents with an endless supply
of cash and some of us just choose to earn our own money instead of depending on others. So how do you balance your
job with everything else?
Of course, above everything else is scheduling. Be sure your boss knows your class
schedule and have a heart-to-heart with him or her about your time needs. Many workplaces are sympathetic to the
plight of the working college student. Communication is essential to having a peaceful co-existence with your job
and your schooling.
Family-owned businesses tend to be much more understanding of the college student.
They have shown to be more willing to work with employees who are full-time students.
Consider finding work on campus. Check the bulletin boards for jobs that will fit
into your schedule or find the human resources department and inquire about available positions. Many colleges
offer work in your field of study, which could prove to be invaluable. Working on campus eliminates travel time to
an outside job and minimizes the stress of trying to coordinate classes with your job.
Don’t try to take on too many hours. Studies show that students who work more than
15 hours at a part-time job while carrying a full load of classes experience more stress and have a larger chance
of dropping out of school due to that stress. While it’s important to have income to offset expenses, it’s also
important to concentrate on your studies.
Take advantage of downtime. When you have a break, review your flashcards. On your
lunch or dinner break, read a chapter while eating a sandwich. Talk to your employer about studying during lulls
while on the clock. If you work at, say, a convenience store, see if your boss would be willing to allow you study
time in between customers. When you take advantage of the time you’re given your success at balancing work and
studies will increase greatly.
Working while in college offers the student more than just the chance to make
money. College jobs allow students to work with faculty and administrators who can often serve as mentors. And
students can often find jobs that relate to their academic work (lab work, research, etc.). Just as importantly,
campus jobs often provide students with the opportunity to examine various career options. At the very least,
potential employers appreciate the fact that students worked while they were in college.
Don't be afraid to let your professors know that you have a job. Most teachers have
learned to turn a deaf ear to students with poor excuses for not doing their assignments on time, but that doesn't
mean they aren't willing to make exceptions when they know the need is there. On the other hand, don't allow your
friends to think you're never available because of your job. Make a point of putting aside time so that you can
take part in at least some of their activities.