Friday, August 01, 2008

Finding Balance Between School and Your Job

Sadly, summer is coming to an end. If you took our advice on how to pick a summer job then you're probably now trying to decide whether or not to keep that job throughout the school year. It can be tough juggling a job between sports, friends and other extracurricular but it can be done. So here are some tips for finding some balance between school, work and life:

Pick the Right Job
Maybe the job you had this past summer was good for all the free time that you had, but it might not be ideal for work hours. Talk with your manager about what he or she has available during the school year. Also be sure to know what hours you're legally allowed to work if you're under 18. I'd suggest that you try and stick with the same job if you can but if you're working a seasonal job or the hours won't work for your school schedule then you might have to find something that is a little more flexible.

Just keep in mind not only your other responsibilities but be able to catch up on sleep to be able to still focus on your school work. It may not feel important now but getting through school should be your first priority. It can get pretty crazy if you end up committing to too many hours. You might want to try starting out with a lower number of hours and adding them on once you get comfortable with how your schedule is.

Be Someone People Can Count On
This means make a schedule and stick to it. Your employer wants to know that you'll be there when you commit to your hours. Your teacher expects you to get your assignments done and turned in. You can only call in sick a few times before you are at risk of losing your job or getting really far behind in classwork. If things get overwhelming then you can cut back on some of things you're involved with - even if it means your work hours.

You don't have to do all work and no play. Definitely make time with friends or chatting on Facebook - whatever you do that lets you unwind. But just remember to keep your priorities straight. If you say you're going to work, then you should work. Exercise a little discipline when those America's Next Top Model marathons come on. Don't let TV or other things distract you if you need to be studying. This discipline and ability to juggle many different time consuming things will help with your time management and project management skills for later on when you're looking to start your career. If you can show your part-time job employer, your teacher, parents and friends that you are someone that they can count on, you'll be that much ahead of the game. When you're ready to really start looking for a full time job, you'll have that many more people to use as references to attest to your great time management skills or reliability.

That Which Doesn't Kill Us, Only Makes Us Stronger
Ok so that is a little bit dramatic but Kanye West's song 'Stronger' has some truth to it. There will be days when you've got about 5 million things that have to be done a the same time. You'll want to quit just about everything and hide away and become a hermit. Again, a little bit dramatic, but there will be hard times. Some days you'll want to just hit the snooze button one more time.

Just remember: you've got a paycheck coming. Your friends will be the ones bumming a couple bucks off of you and you'll be able to get that new iPod you've been wanting. Of course if your always miserable and unable to handle your set schedule it might be time to reevaluate your priorities and cut back on some things. But the thing to remember is that work isn't always fun. It can but, sure. But every so often when you feel like it's too much, just think about all the great experience that you'll be able to use later on. Either that or you'll be able to use your paycheck money for a sweet vacation during spring break.

- Rosie Reilman

No comments: