College is hard work and anyone who says otherwise probably doesn’t take school seriously. When you combined college with work, it can be seriously stressful. Managers, and parents if you nanny/babysit, give little to no consideration if you have homework due the next night or a final the next week. It is expected that you are available when they schedule each shift for you, and most jobs don’t like when you alter your hours for finals week (although we all do).
Most people, like myself, have to balance work and school with each other. Since my sophomore year of my undergraduate degree I’ve been working. College will mean the difference between a job and a career later in life, but for right now, you need money for bills, food and the occasional night out.
So what can you do?
Schedule In Time For Schoolwork
I schedule time for school work every day. With nannying I know I work Tuesday mornings, Tuesday nights, Thursday nights and occasionally other week nights. When working at a retail brand I got the same schedule every week. I started scheduling in about an hour to two hours a day for school work so that I never got too overwhelmed. If I fell behind with school work due to extra shifts or a night out, I made sure to make the hours up within the next day or two.
During college, everyone wants to go out. Schoolwork always seems to fall to the side when your friends want to go out for drinks, to the gym or out for food. You have to balance friendships and boyfriends and family time that the whole idea of school panics you.
School should almost always come first, with work coming in second, but not always. Pay attention to what needs to be done and what’s important. These may not always be the same thing, but college isn’t always about living in the classroom: it’s about turning into an adult with friends and learning time management. So don’t always say no, but don’t always say yes.
Don’t Always Get the Job
If you are afraid that your schoolwork may fall behind due to overscheduling (I had a friend in five different clubs in college) then don’t get the job. It’s always harder to make money then to save money, so if you can’t do both then figure out a budget per week (and per month) that you can stick to. School breaks and weekends home can sometimes let you go back to old jobs.
Find A Job on Campus
I worked as an RA for a year and I was given free housing. With this, I also managed to work part time at a retail brand. Somehow I managed, but a lot of my friends were working on campus instead. This could be working in the library, the cafe or even the school book store. Sometimes this may be easier, especially if you don’t have a car.
You won’t be the only person with this idea so make sure you keep checking for openings. If there are openings, don’t be too picky and apply to anything that seems even a little interesting!
Work During the Summer
All of my friends work during the summer. Whether this is through paid internships, waitressing or working as a lifeguard, we all managed to make money. All colleges give you a decent amount of time off for the summer and everywhere in your hometown is looking for part time help. Sure, you may not want to work at a summer camp all week but you’ll save money and it’ll be a decent amount of time.
Working through the summer will allow you to focus on the school year without working about money. Save and be stress-free.
Any suggestions as to how to save money?!