Balancing School and Work: How to Stay on Track
In today’s job force, many follow different paths. While some finish school and quickly find the career they love. Others may decide to go in a different direction and find they need to go back to school for more or different training.
But returning to school offers it’s on set of challenges, especially if you have a family to feed or bills to pay. As a new semester just recently started for many students, many may be feeling the heat of juggling work while returning to the classroom.
So, how do you manage it all? We’ve put together a few tips to help you stay on track and keep your eyes on the prize and balance work and education.
- Figure Out What Works For You: There are many different ways to go back to college and schools more than ever are understanding the need for flexibility. Many schools offer online classes, late-night classes, and of course traditional online classes. Determining which option is best for you is going to be based on what your needs are for you and your family.
- Take Some Time To Establish Your Budget: Going back to school can be an expensive obligation, having to purchase textbooks, schooling materials, courses, and more on top of paying life’s bills can become tricky so it’s a good idea to take some time to figure out and establish your personal finances. You’ll want to establish how much you need to make to have all your bills, schools necessities, and any other expenses you may typically incur in a given amount of time. There are many calculators on the internet and budgeting apps that can help you with this as well. Once you have these amounts figured out you’ll need to see many hours you can work in a week to earn that monthly amount. Then, take some time to work through your class schedule and be open with your managers about trying to work around it. If your classes are virtual it’s still a good idea to dedicate some time during the week when you’re not working to ensure all assignments are completed.
- Fine Tune Your Time Management Skills: Time management is imperative when succeeding in working full time and going to school. You’ll need to set up a strict schedule to determine work time versus school time. An agenda whether it be virtual or paper is a great way to be able to keep track of your time management. Try to prioritize the most important things first, like going to the gym, commute time, etc. but don’t forget to set aside some time for yourself to decompress.
- Develop Healthy Stress Coping Mechanisms: Wearing many hats and dividing time so much can often become stressful so learning how to manage that stress is going to be important. Try not to pack every spare moment with studying and working ad rather go for a walk, go to your favorite place, read a book, see a movie, or do whatever makes you happy. Setting some time aside for yourself will help you navigate these busy waters and will ensure that you are successful in all you do.
Overall, going back to school is not the easiest thing and there are some sacrifices that often are made, mostly with time, but setting goals for yourself are important, and doing what you need to do to complete them is great. At the end of it all, you’ll be proud of yourself and you will likely benefit yourself in your career goals.