Balancing school and work.
Hi, I’m Kim! 28-year-old registered nurse living in Queensland, Australia. I’ve struggled balancing school, work, and life and lived to tell the tale! I’ve completed a Bachelor’s Degree while working and maintaining my lifestyle.
So you’re studying hard and working even harder, all while trying to maintain some semblance of a social life? You’re trying to balance long days at school and even longer nights studying, but you’ve also got to keep a roof over your head and food on the table! Not an easy feat is it?
Some days it feels like there is barely enough hours in the day to get everything done. I’ve been there, survived it, I even look back on it fondly now, and you can too. It’s all about maintaining that precious balance, and I’ve got some strategies to help you get there.
Tip 1 Balancing school and work – Time management is crucial.
Your time is precious. So be organised and utilise it effectively. It sounds cliche I know, but not only will good time management help you with the juggling act of school and work, but it’s also going to be a vital skill you will need to use in the future career you enter.
Depending on what kind of style of organisation you like, either a pen and paper to do this will suffice, or you can utilise your smartphone features (like the calendar) to do this for you. At the start of each week, pencil in your class schedule, work schedule, and some downtime. Be specific with this, e.g “8AM: 2-hour class, 3PM: 4-hour shift, 9PM: 1 hour of Netflix”.
If you find you never have time to relax and unwind, schedule that time in! It sounds silly, but you are your most important investment, so make time to do the things you love.
Tip 2 Balancing school and work – Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
For the independent proud people like me, this can be a hard one to do. Asking for help might make you feel like you’re bothering people, but trust me, you aren’t. Your close friends, family, teachers, and colleagues WANT you to succeed.
If you feel like you’re drowning, utilise what help is available to you. That might mean getting in touch with your school support services and asking for educational help, or it might mean asking your family to run some errands for you, or it might even be hitting up your friends for some much-needed hang out time.
If you have a flexible employer, don’t be afraid to let them know you’re struggling, and see what support your manager can offer you.
Tip 3 Balancing school and work – Consider where you could cut back.
The old saying “Don’t bite off more than you can chew” applies here. Don’t do what I tried to do, and take on a full-time postgraduate study course while also working full time, when I knew it would be too much for me. Know your limits.
If you know you need to prioritise work first because you have a family to support, consider doing the part-time study. Same goes for the opposite if you don’t absolutely HAVE to work full time, consider doing what I did and reducing your work hours. And if you have full capacity to work AND study full time – more power to you you are a superhero!
And lastly, go easy on yourself. You are trying to balance what might be one of the busiest and most stressful times of your life. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. So give yourself a pat on the back for taking this challenge on, and don’t lose hope, you CAN balance school, work, and life.
You can find more of my content over at my website.