Laura sighed heavily as she laid on her bed. She had just missed a major exam and would have to carry it over to the next session. She felt overwhelmed and had been trying to hold back her tears from the exam venue when she arrived extremely late and was sent back home. “Just let it flow” Laura whispered to herself as the tears rushed down. She cried bitterly at the thought that she would have to tell her parents that she failed a course for the first time. That because of this, she would most likely have an extra year of school. How could she have forgotten the time for her exam? Is it really this difficult to combine work and school? she thought to herself.
She called her big sister and told her the problem. Her sister came around to console her.
“Laura, I told you that you weren’t giving your academics enough attention. I’d have advised you to quit your job but you need the money and skills build-up” Laura’s sister said. “Your part-time job requires 10 hours of your time weekly and I believe you can still create a balance with your school work and other social activities”…
It’s a common thing these days for students to work while schooling. While most persons do that to make an income to support their schooling, others do it to gain experience in order to be equipped before graduation.
Whatever the reason may be for working while schooling, we must understand that it has both amazing benefits as well as drawbacks. Effective plans must be put in place to create a balance between academics and work life.
Prioritize your academics
People have various reasons for being in school. While some are there to make good grades, get a job or attain a really high standing in education (PhD), others might be there with dreams of becoming an athlete, entrepreneur or a profession that may not necessarily require that certificate. Whatever the case may be, a commensurate amount of time should be given to your academics. A study timetable is essential for this. You also need to understand your body chemistry in order to determine the best reading time that works uniquely for you (Acada-Body-Chemistry). After considering all these, then you can fix a schedule that will provide necessary balance for work and/or other engagements.
A monthly, weekly and daily list of activities can also help balance different areas of your life. A daily to-do list would help allocate time to different activities necessary for the day based on their level of importance. A schedule should be created for lectures, assignments, reading, your job, cooking and other extracurricular activities in school. After creating this daily, ensure you stick to it till it becomes a habit.
We should also consider the effects of not having a good school-work balance. First, it can lead to waste of time and resources. From the story above, Laura would have to spend extra hours and resources, preparing for her carryover course.
Secondly, mental stress or breakdown can be expected. If your schedule isn’t properly arranged and you try to do so many things at a time, you might end up with frustration, ill-health or burnout.