Being a full-time working student, it can be easy to feel out of balance and disorganized. Here are some of my top tips for getting back on track, from one working student to another!
- Get a planner.
Organization is key when you are balancing a work schedule and course work. It is easy to fall behind in classes or forget about a shift you signed up for without writing it down somewhere. There have been multiple studies done by Phycologists, Psychiatrists and Neuroscientists that have proven this, and is one of the many reasons why note taking has been proven so affective! So, if you do not have a planner yet, I highly recommend getting
- Find a job that works with your class schedule.
When finding a place to work, look at their hours of operation and talk to someone about what a typical work week looks like for a student worker. By doing this, you’ll be able to see what type of hours you’d be working; how often you’d be working and are able to see if it’s something that fits with your class schedule. I recommend looking for open positions that are through UW-W, such as the University Center (we are hiring)! Places that are operated through UW-W are going to be understanding of the workload that comes with being a college student and are going to work around what is best for you.
- Remember to get sleep.
Sleep is one of the most important things we need as humans and is one of the things that students are most likely to give up during stressful times. It might seem like a great idea in the moment, but when you think about pulling an all-nighter or taking on that extra shift at work, ask yourself “when was the last time I got at least seven hours of sleep”? If you cannot remember, it is probably best that you put the book down or say no to the extra hours and get some sleep!
- Take advantage of your phones calendar app!
Like I mentioned above, it is easy to forget things if you do not have them written down somewhere. However, it is unlikely you will have your planner with you when you are not at home or in your dorm. Every semester, I take the time to put in my phone calendar the times that I have class and work. I highly recommend doing this! This has really come in handy when I have needed to schedule things with others, especially when it is last minute, and I do not have access to my planner.
- Color coat your schedules!
Color coating is not for everyone, and that is ok! I personally color coat my planner and have found it helpful in keeping me organized. By color coating, you can see what you must do for each area of your life and can plan your day accordingly!
- Stay active and take breaks.
It is hard to remember to take the time to do the things you love when you are stressed out or feel like you have no time to do them. Whether it is going for a quick walk, or watching your favorite show, it is important to find time in your day that it dedicated to you. It is also important to make the time for things you love and are passionate about, like joining a campus club! By practicing these things, you are less likely to experience burn out, and will come back to work or schoolwork with a clear mind and motivation!
- Make time to catch up on life (get groceries, do your laundry, clean your bathroom, etc.).
This is one tip that I had to learn to do the hard way. I found myself scheduling every minute of my day with something new, and eventually got behind on cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and staying healthy. I had to learn to take a step back and realize that it is important to stay on top of these things, as it can lead to un-necessary stress. So, give yourself the time to do these things, and to stay on top of life! The last thing you want to do is to be getting ready in the morning to realize you are all out of clean socks!
- Remember to eat!
Just like sleeping, eating is another necessity as a human! When you are constantly on the go, you might feel like skipping a meal is the best thing to do. However, this can lead to brain fog, fatigue, light headedness and more. Even if it is making yourself a quick sandwich, or grabbing a banana in the morning, try to stay on your regular eating schedule!
- Be honest with yourself and your employer.
If you start to feel like you are reaching an unhealthy level of stress trying to balance a job and school, you should have a conversation with your employer. Weather it is asking for less hours, or taking a break from working, it is important to remember that your well being comes first.
Yes, you read that right. Take time to yourself to remember to breathe and reconnect. This is one of the things I try to do every day and think that you should to!
Overall, by being a full-time working student, it is easy to feel disorganized and stressed out. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope that my tips are helpful to those who are feeling like things are a little hectic and need some help finding their balance between work and school again.
If you’re looking to start working and are interested in joining the UC team, you can visit Handshake or https://www.uww.edu/uc/about-the-uc/job-application for more information on our open positions!
If you are feeling extra stressed and feel the need to talk to a professional, please reach out to the University Health and Counseling Services to schedule an appointment. They can be reached at 262-472-1305.