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Balancing Work & College

For new students, it is not intense classes, but finding the time to make money for college expenses, textbooks, and other non-tuition fees while having a social life on campus that is the hardest transition to handle. Whether your financial aid package included several hours of work study per week, or you found a full/part-time job to pay for those expenses, it is not easy to master the art of time management when balancing work and college.

Balance & Sacrifice

The advantages of balancing work and college outweigh the stress of sticking to a tight schedule and a an even tighter budget. Earning money to lower your student loan debt will teach you the responsibilities that come with being an adult. If you’re lucky enough to find a job that is related to your major, you will gain experience in your chosen field, placing you ahead of your peers. Even typical college jobs such as waitressing, working in retail, and stacking shelves at the campus bookstore builds skill sets that are useful after college.

Explore Your Options

You don’t need to work in the school library or computer lab to make money on a flexible schedule. Consider off-campus options in your college town, like product promotion and retail sales when applying for jobs, as many businesses’ employee base is college students from the area. Employers in those communities will be flexible with your exam schedule and other collegiate commitments. Having an off-campus will help you to avoid taking out student loans for cost of living expenses such as transportation, housing, and entertainment costs that increase student debt.

Remember that you are in college to get a degree, not to work overtime at the local retailer or pizza shop. Take control of your schedule and factor in study time so you’re not panicking when finals come around. Go to your classes, pay attention to deadlines and, make a positive impression on your instructors so they will be willing to work with your work schedule to help keep your grades up. Browse through our tips for balancing work and college to better prepare for life on campus.

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Last Reviewed: January 2020