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How to Excel at School While Working at the Same Time

CollegeStudentThe price of a higher education has gone up drastically in the last decade, and studying full-time has become a luxury that the majority of students simply can’t afford.

Of course, balancing work with personal life and still finding enough quality time to devote to studying is often easier said than done. However, if you have a plan and are determined to succeed, it certainly isn’t impossible either.

Whether you’re a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first-time student who is working on the side to finance a degree or a seasoned worker returning to school to supplement your education, the following work-study tips are for you.

Schedule everything

Welcome to life as a working student; you will now have to schedule everything in advance, from the classes you want to attend to the day you’ll do your shopping to downtime with your buddies.

Mark important dates on your calendar and set up email or phone reminders that come through the day before any important events so that they don’t slip your mind.

Communicate with your employer

If you are planning to study and work full-time, it’s best to be upfront with your employer about what your expectations are and how you plan to manage work alongside your studies so that you are both on the same page.

Most employers are understanding of the demands of juggling work with studies and will be open to negotiating some flexibility. Perhaps you can work from home a couple of days a week, get earlier/later hours on certain days or work more on weekends instead.

Look for ways to earn a passive income

As a working student, every little bit of money helps, and adding a passive income to your current income stream can help to pay for at least some of your living expenses.

There are a number of different ways to start generating a passive income, from rental income to online stores to information products or apps. Think about the things you are good at and whether or not there is a market for something you can offer.

It probably won’t make you rich, but it will, however, supplement your current income and enable you to work fewer hours and focus more on your studies.

Find out if your school accepts transfer credits

Transfer credits are a great way to cut down on the amount of work you have to do at school, and even courses you did years ago may be able to help you earn a few credits towards the degree you are currently working on. In some cases, you may even be able to translate your work experience into course credits, so it’s definitely worth finding out what your school’s transfer credit policy is.


No matter how religiously you schedule each one of your activities, there will be times when you have to pick and choose due to unexpected circumstances.

Of course, it goes without saying that work and school should take priority over most other things, but it’s also important to keep your sanity, so judge each situation separately and make sure you aren’t neglecting your personal life either.

 About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Joyce Del Rosario. She is a career and education blogger and she is a part of the team behind Open Colleges and InformED, one of Australia’s leading providers of Open Learning and trusted and accredited distance education.

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One Response to “How to Excel at School While Working at the Same Time”

  1. Thanks for the tips! Next semester I hope to be working full time while attending nursing school. I hate scheduling, but I guess that’s just something I’m going to have to learn to do.