With student loans skyrocketing and daily expenses peaking, more and more students are turning towards jobs to satisfy their needs. There is an increasing trend of full-time college and university students in the United States taking up jobs on or off campus to help them cover their costs. However, it can quickly become taxing to attend classes and work on assignments, while also going to your job every single day.
Most students report missing out on a social life, being overworked and exhausted, and being unable to focus on their studies when they need to. While, in an ideal scenario, a student would not need to work to support themselves, this is not always the case. Aside from the necessity of a paycheck, the experience one gains from doing a job not only teaches them discipline and organization, but also helps them in the future. Almost all employers demand a certain degree of experience from their employees – something that would be impossible for someone who is merely enrolled in classes. This seemingly baffling requirement can be met only if a student takes up a job while in college or university.
Director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, Tony Carnevale’s report on Learning While Earning recounts the anecdotes of individuals who work and study at the same time. In it, Morgan Lamborn recounted: “Time is the biggest challenge. There are never enough hours in the day. So working on my Master’s right now is a lot; it’s being pulled in 62 directions at once, every single day.” Additionally, Thierry Pierre-Charles said of the challenges of working and studying together and the aspect of isolation: “I knew that I would end up having to work, because my parents weren’t in a position to support me. It kind of impacts you mentally because you really don’t have too much social interaction — you know you can’t go out and have fun. But the only reason I even kept doing it is because I didn’t have anything else to fall back on.”
For students trying to efficiently study and work at the same time, here are a few suggestions:
Utilize your days offIt can be very tricky to manage all your course readings alongside your work, especially when the dreaded exam season comes near. The best strategy to deal with this is to utilize your days off by covering the coming week’s work or trying to get ahead in your course work. Weekdays and other holidays can be a blessing for students who are working, so make the best of them!
Study smarter, not harderThe tip to managing and completing your syllabus in the most efficient manner is to study smartly; use trial-and-error to ascertain what study methods suit you best and figure out how to do your readings in the best way to retain everything. Studying harder, and procrastinating while you’re doing it, is the prime cause of inefficient studying. Divide your work amongst a group of friends to get through it quicker.
OrganizeAs cliché as it sounds, organizing your life is one of the best ways to increase efficiency. Allocate your time amongst your various responsibilities during the day and follow the schedule strictly. This way, you will be able to work and study at designated times and it will ensure that you stick to your set timetable. A great way to do this is to use the calendar and alarm features on your smartphone to act as reminders, it’s a simple yet effective measure!
Prioritize yourselfWhile this may not be something most students think they have time for, it is absolutely necessary to ensure success and efficiency in everything you do. Make sure you take time out for self-care and don’t overwork yourself.
FreelanceThis is something that has becoming increasingly popular amongst students; freelancing allows you the greatest perk that students look for: remotely working. You can take up gigs and projects for various organizations and start-ups that allow you to work from home, or anywhere else. Remote work has the added benefit of being flexible in terms of timing; there are no time constraints on when you do the work, as long as you do it. This is a great option for students who want to utilize nighttime to work while they study during the day. Freelancing and gig work are excellent options for students looking to work and earn money, while also having a degree of freedom and flexibility.
Research by Anthony P. Carnevale, Nicole Smith, Michelle Melton, and Eric W. Price of Georgetown University found that almost 14 million Americans work while taking classes. These astounding numbers prove that it is absolutely necessary to ensure that it is done in the most efficient and productive way possible!