School + Work = Impossible?

Being a student is often like being in a battlefield and trying to avoid the landmines that are planted everywhere. Now, what if I asked you to hula-hoop the entire time while avoiding the landmines, it gets a little more difficult (and sweaty), doesn’t it?

Of course, luckily, our physical lives aren’t at risk here – but our future is.

These ‘landmines’ are our failing assignments, grades, experiences, and efforts in school, which we desperately try to avoid. The ‘hula-hooping’ relates to this other commitment and responsibility called a ‘job’ thing.

It is never easy attempting to do both, but in my experience it gets harder as each year of college gets shorter. As the curriculum asks for more of you, trying to get you prepared for a career in the field by the end of the year, the assignments get harder, exhausting, and of course much more time-consuming. The days are spent trying to find time to fit in a little bit of homework, but for me, that never seems to end up happening…

Balancing school and work requires more that putting your availability on days you don’t have school, it should be kept in mind that on the days you don’t have class, there’s always homework (ALWAYS)! I’ve noticed coming to class is just half the battle, the other half is always finding the time, and motivation, to actually sit down and apply the lesson on an assignment due the next day. My first mistake of working while in school was working all day on the days I was off from class, until I realized I needed days off to just do homework, it is as if school is two parts of one job; class and homework make up one identity called education, weird right? Luckily, now, I have Sundays off to make up for my slacking all week.

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We can’t forget that having two responsibilities equal two sources of stress. Of course every job is different and require different parts of our brain and body to get the job done! This can be easy for some people while others struggle – much like school. At this time of my life, as well as other students, probably don’t have a job that we love right now; in fact, we probably hate it without a question. However, the reasons why we hate it can vary. I personally have a job I hate because it is a whole level of stress I hate to feel, and feel it on a daily basis. I am a server and it’s never the same, and the learning is never ending. This can be overwhelming for me, as I have to make sure I stay calm, and get the job done, while thinking about what needs to be done for school when I finish my shift. Responsibilities can take a toll on our mental and physical health, and it is important to not overwork yourself in both aspects. The special term that comes to mind is moderation, a word you’ve probably heard your mother shout as you stuff 6 cookies in your mouth. It is vital to do things in bits when you’re working and trying to keep up with each class. Work on something for a short period of time and come back to it everyday for an hour or so – although I don’t do that, I probably should start.

Although balancing a part-time job while being a student is often times tough, exhausting and stressful, it can also be a character building experience that you can use to balance out other things in your future; weather that is balancing different projects in your career at once, or even balancing a family life. This multi-tasking can help you excel in many things, as this fast-paced world needs more individuals who can handle that kind organization. Once you’ve mastered the skill of balancing responsibilities, life will get a little bit easier for you.

For those who have been able to balance out the stresses of work and school, what advice can you help out those who cannot seem to find the balance?

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