How to Effectively Juggle a Job in College

Buckle up friends, because this is about to be a nice long detailed post where I spill my greatest secret. I’m about to give you the inside scoop on how I juggle going to college full-time, blogging, a semi-decent social life, gym sessions, and working two part-time jobs for a total of about 30 hours a week.

How to Effectively Juggle a Job in College | College with Caitlyn

It’s about to go down.

Plan Plan Plan

This is a no-brainer I know. But I swear so many people look over this step. Which I don’t understand, because not having anything written out stresses me out. A.k.a. why I have a school/life planner, a blog planner, a dry erase calendar, and a real calendar.

I don’t want to go too in-depth with this one, because I have a whole post about how I use all of them, so I’ll just keep it simple.

Write down everything. You will forget something if you don’t. Just like I forgot about my calculus 3 homework the other night until I was driving home from work.

Keep track of all assignments. Have all your projects, essays, and tests written down somewhere along with notes to start working on them before they’re due. The second part being the most important because procrastination is a thing.

Prioritize. Learn to do what’s most important first. For example, I get four calculus assignments a week. Three of them are due anytime before the end of the semester, and one is due exactly a week after it was assigned. I don’t have time to complete all four during the week, so I make the one that has a set due date my top priority.

Optimize your Class Schedule

When I was planning my classes for this semester, I knew I had to leave room in the morning to work at my on-campus job and room in the evenings to work at my off-campus job. This didn’t work out too well, since I have a 4:30 class on Tuesday and Thursday, but hey everyone needs a break from work every once in awhile.

spring 2017 class schedule

I just officially confirmed my schedule for the fall last week, and again I made sure to leave time in the morning and afternoon. However, this time the mornings I have off I’m going to use to go the gym because I prefer morning workouts, and then in then I’ll have a couple hours almost every day to do homework and hang out with friends before I’ll be scheduled to work at my off-campus job.

fall 2017 class schedule

Speaking of working…

Know Your Limits

I work at my on-campus office every Wednesday and Friday morning until my class at 1:00 p.m. The office is open from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m so on days when I don’t work at my off-campus job until 5 p.m. I could run back to the office after my 1 o’clock class and get in another two hours.

But then I would work all morning, go to class, go back to work, then go to my other job all night.

While yes it’s possible, and I have done it, it’s exhausting. I mean that’s working over 10 hours a day. And while yes, I could use the money like any other college student, over exerting myself to the point where I stop finding my job fun isn’t worth.

Related: Dealing with Overwhelm in College

Set limits with your job. Don’t give your job the absolute maximum hours you could work, because you may not be able to survive them. Instead, write out a sample weekly schedule with all your classes, events and proposed work schedule. Does it seem reasonable, or are you dreading it just writing it out?

If you’re already wanting to complain about the schedule you wrote down, then you are a little over ambitious. Consider lightening the hours you’ve proposed before you turn them in to a supervisor.

Get a Lenient Job

Time to share a secret…

I do a lot of homework at work. Like a lot. And almost all my blog writing and designing gets done at work, too. (This whole post was completed while at work).

How do you not get fired Caitlyn!?

Well my on-campus job is extremely extremely lenient with me doing homework and taking breaks. Mostly because I honestly don’t have too much work to do there, but also because it is an on-campus job and they understand how much work college is.

My off-campus job is somewhat lenient, but I’m certainly much busier there and can’t just pull out my notebook and start cracking on that week’s statistics homework. I can however, write and edit essays, find research for projects, and draft blog posts between helping patrons because I sit at a computer my whole shift.

So my tip to you is to find a job where you work at a computer. Because it’s life saving, and honestly if I solely worked at a job where I didn’t have access to the internet I would fail all my classes. Okay maybe that’s a tad dramatic. I would just fail any class that has any sort of essay in the syllabus.

My secret is out, so now it’s time for you to spill your’s! How do you juggle school and work?

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