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Balancing a Job While Being a College Student

workstudyMost students have an average of five classes. Each of those classes take up approximately three hours each week.  In addition to those 15 hours a student spends in the classroom, he or she is expected to study for up to an additional 45 hours that week. Part-time jobs and internships can require anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a week. If you do the math (don’t worry – I’ll do it for you considering you’re probably exhausted), that means a full- time student (with a job and internship) should be working, studying or in classes 14 hours of every day.

Eating? Sleeping? Socializing? Who needs ‘em! Completely overrated, right?

Wrong! We’ve gathered some survival tips for the 21st century student who has to do it all but still wants a life.

Get Your Priorities in Order

Whether you’re a to-do list kind of person or you prefer keep everything on your phone – a schedule is key. And sticking to that schedule is even more important. Make sure that the most important activities or assignments are put at the top of the list. Sometimes getting everything done is not possible. But if you attempt to get it all done by jumping from thing to thing, you wind up in a tailspin and nothing gets accomplished. So, schedule your time realistically and stick to that schedule!

Communication Is Key

If you are one of those students with a job and internship, being honest with your professors and bosses can be invaluable. Going to see a professor after class or during their office hours to discuss your time limitations can go a long way. Making sure that all the major players in your life know about the others may earn you the benefit of the doubt when things go wrong. Because let’s face it, college life is bound to have some bumps.

Make the Tough Calls

You may really want to throw your homework in the air on a Friday or Saturday and scream “YOLO!” Yet, we all know that when Sunday night rolls around, you will regret putting off writing that ten page paper or preparing an important presentation. Making the decision to pass on fun can difficult, but it sometimes has to be done.

Relieve Stress – Don’t Procrastinate

On the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s just as important to know when to take a night off. Know your limitations! If you realize that you’re not getting anywhere in your studies and that information isn’t sinking in or that paper isn’t quite making sense because you’re too tired or can’t focus, taking a much needed break can be exactly what the doctor ordered. Just make sure you don’t make a habit of using these breaks to procrastinate. (Believe me! It’s easy to fall into that trap.)

Sleep When You Can

Finally, the most important tip for anyone who has pulled multiple all-nighters in a row: SLEEP! If you find that you are done with all your tasks that day at 9pm, curl up with a good book, catch up on a show, and then promptly pass out! Those nights where you finish early are few and far between. Cherish them!

College is just as much about budgeting your time as it is budgeting for Ramen noodles and weekend excursions with your friends. As you struggle to get through these college years, remember that you are working towards a goal – a rewarding career path.  Keep going to class, work hard, and you’ll get there before you know it.

Check out the rest of our site for more tips that can help as you make your way through your own college years.

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Erica Moss. She is the social brand manager for Semester Online, a first-of-its-kind program offering for-credit courses from the nation’s top colleges and universities — online. When she’s not writing or tweeting, she enjoys TV, pop culture and cured meats.

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