If you’ve been following our Instagram, you might’ve seen my stories about how much I love my job at the Library, and if you check out the blog pretty often, you might’ve read my recent blog about how to navigate work-study.
In the post about work-study I briefly mentioned how to balance work and school, but today we’re going to dive a bit deeper. As someone who has three on campus jobs, here are my tips for managing work and school!
Understand your time commitments and only say yes to what you know you have time for.
At Furman, there’s an abundance of cool opportunities and it’s easy to say “yes, yes, yes” and then find yourself overbooked and overworked. Make sure when you are saying yes to opportunities, that you know exactly how much time you have to spare in your schedule.
My favorite way to keep up with this and make sure I don’t get too overwhlemed with commitments is to time block. I have a planner with a weekly spread that is broken down into hours and I can see exactly how I’m spending my time and how much free time I have.
I make sure to block time for homework, relaxing, and other commitments ahead of time, so when I am saying “yes” or “no” to an opportunity, I can see exactly how it might fit or conflict with my current commitments.
Make sure to keep time for friends, family, and self-care
Along with making sure you have enough time for any new commitments, make sure you keep plenty of time for hanging out with friends, calling or visiting family every now and then, and a healthy routine of self-care.
The best way to balance work and school is to make sure you’ve still got plenty of time for the things you love to do and the people you love, including yourself!
Work jobs that are related to your interests, hobbies, and goals if possible
The only way I’m able to have three jobs is because all of them are related to things I’m interested in and can be applied to my larger goals. This makes them feel less like work and more like things I enjoy doing, but also get paid for.
Find a job where you can multi-task
I love my job at the library because when I’m not helping someone with what they need or sorting books, I’m allowed to do my homework, read, or just talk with my co-workers. I have worked between 6 and 10 hours a week per semester and most of that time is spent working on homework. It’s like a built in study time! And sometimes I’m even able to do work for my other jobs while I’m working in the library (literally as I’m writing this blog I’m working in the science library!) #WorkSmarterNotHarder
Find some side-hustles
Usually when I say I have three jobs on campus and one off campus, people’s jaws drop, but really what I mean is, I have one main on-campus job, and two side-hustles. All of these pay, but they require different amounts of my time, so I am able to balance all of them.
I work most of my hours in the library where I’m able to also multi-task and finish homework or other business work I need done. I spend about a couple hours a week as a social media intern for Admissions (writing these blogs is a part of that!), and a couple hours as an Admissions concierge (I give virtual tours and help with some logistics in the Admissions office).
All of my “side-hustles” don’t really feel like work because it’s doing things I already enjoy and things I would probably volunteer to do for free anyway. Liking what I do, as well as the people I get to interact with because of these jobs makes them a lot easier to balance and means there’s almost never any stress attached to them.
Use your summers
If you’re like me, money is tight and it’s a big deal. I wanted to make sure I was taking advantage of all the educational opportunities that came my way, but I also want to make sure I’m earning money so I can afford things I need like groceries, textbooks, and other things throughout the year.
One of the coolest things about Furman is that you can apply to receive funding for your summer internship or your summer research and be paid $3,500. This is so you can take advantage of an opportunity that is really going to advance your educational or career goals/path without worrying about money or having to choose between working a summer job and doing something cool like an internship or research project.
You can also work or intern at Furman for the summer! Some popular jobs include interning for the office of Admission, working for BRIDGES to a Brighter Future, Summer Scholars, or the Riley Institute’s Emerging Public Leaders– three programs working with high school students, and Orientation Staff (my personal favorite… but I’m a little biased as a two time summer and fall o-staffer!)