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Work and study - how to find the perfect balance

Work and study - how to find the perfect balance?

Full-time or part-time, experience-oriented or simply for extra finance, working during your studies is time consuming and requires some sacrifice. How to reduce this to a minimum? 

1. Schedule your lectures and working hours at the beginning

As a working student, you will now have a more diverse and busy schedule to think about. Start with a detailed look at your university timetable! Within a few minutes you can have a clear overview of the hours that you can devote for work each day. Don’t forget to leave some gaps in your schedule - you won’t make it without some free time for yourself. Once you are ready with your plan for the semester, you should concentrate on gathering information about project and paper deadlines and of course, examination. The best time to do this is at the beginning of each semester when you could also schedule some time for preparation. Weather you will learn more on the weekends or during your vacation or holidays, you shouldn’t put your university tasks behind.

2. Discuss your university engagements with your employer

If you are starting a new job, it is a good idea to learn more about your responsibilities, colleagues and the overall environment. Take notes and ask questions about the flexibility of your working schedule and amount of tasks that you will be regularly given. If it turns out that you have too much to do or you will have some very busy periods, just talk to your employer and try to reduce your working hours by that time and catch up before or after the most occupied days. You can also discuss an additional vacation whenever you are in exam phase at the university or receive permission to work from home to save some time of travelling to and back from work if the job allows it. . If you say it in advance, your chances to be taken seriously are higher.  And above all, make sure that your colleagues are aware that despite the lack of time your work is very important for you – dedication is always rewarding. 

3. “Recharge your batteries”

Spend it the best way possible, as your free time experiences will reflect on your performance both at work and university. Don’t think twice about having a day or two off work and school while practicing your hobbies and enjoying the company of your friends or family. Just do what you love to recharge your batteries and get released from the pressure, you can simply take a few days off and invest some quality time in yourself or social life. 

4. Always get enough sleep

While it might seem impossible when you have several days to both work and study during a single week, getting enough sleep is an absolute must for your health condition. Getting up early is usually hard to evade but you can always go to sleep earlier or rely on some power napping now and then. There might be a special room for resting in your office where you can close your eyes for 15 minutes and benefit from increased productivity afterwards. Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci followed a unique sleep cycle including a 20-minute nap every 4 hours? Just think about his achievements! 

5. Eat healthy and regularly

When in a hurry or following a busy schedule, you can easily forget about some basics activities such as eating and drinking. In order to maintain focus and ensure maximum endurance every day, you have to follow a normal diet consisting of a lot of healthy food with at least three meals per day and water for hydration. Avoid typical student sins such as drinking a lot of coffee and energy drinks or constantly relying on junk food containing too much sugar and calories. Instead, always start your day with a rich breakfast and if you have no time for lunch and dinner, try to snack and avoid hunger with fruits, vegetables and sandwiches. 

6. Don’t forget about your social life

Your decision to work and study shouldn’t prevent you from having friends or being in a relationship. What is more, your close colleagues at the university can always help you to receive certain information that you have missed out or give you a hand for a test,  project or homework when in need. 

Sometimes your friends might require too much from you and remind you on your social engagements when you don’t have time or you just don’t feel like doing anything. However, it’s nice to pay attention on them, but it’s your decision when you want to hang out and you have the right to refuse some events – a good friend will always understand that! 

7. Work hard, study harder

Even if you have found the perfect job or already taken the first step towards your dream career, you have to remember that you are a student above all. And that means that your studies should always be with higher priority. If you are fully concentrated only on your work, experience and finances, then why are you studying?

Modern higher educational already offers great flexibility for all kinds of students with the introduction of online evening courses and extra-occupational studies. However, they still require a decent amount of attention to the curriculum and a serious attitude throughout the duration of the study programme. 

8. Reconsider your decision to work

Last but not least, there is no shame in deciding to give up on your job after looking at your recent results at university or realizing that you don’t need it so much. In reality, some study programmes such as Medicine or Law simply give no space for other occupation than the academic one. What is more, there are also universities which require 100% attendance with intensive timetables allowing no possibility to work at all. It could be a good idea to reconsider your decision for employment, not necessarily after a series of bad results but also because of high levels of stress or no real sense of achievement. You might find it easier to ensure financial stability every month by relying on scholarships or seek experience through a university placement or student internship. 

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