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70% of college students work while in college. Here are some fantastic top tips on how to juggle work and college to help you make money without losing your mind!

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: College is expensive. Tuition, housing, groceries, meal plan, clothing, textbooks, toiletries, gas money, insurance… it all adds up to a lot.

With all of those costs building up, often on top of student loans, it is no wonder that 73% of students work at least 1 part time job during the school year.

I’m in the same boat.

I’m currently working 3 paying jobs: A typical desk job where I do web design/graphic design/social media and promotional management which I commute to, running this blog which gives me a small source of income, and doing some freelance graphic design projects currently for a local theatre.

On top of these, I also work 2 non-paying jobs: Running my school’s Her Campus chapter, and working on stage crew or stage management crew for my local professional theatre.

If you can’t tell from reading that.. I’m a busy person. My friends always say it, and it’s true: A busy Dani is a happy Dani. I love being involved, leading, creating, writing, organizing, and making a difference. I make sure to display that and stay true to that through my jobs.

However, juggling all of that plus school work is a lot to handle. I have definitely reached my fair share of breaking points throughout the school year where I have become incredibly overwhelmed with the amount of work I have chosen to take on. It’s weird though, I love it. I thrive off of it, off being successful like this. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you are just starting out to juggle college and a job at the same time, it can be scary and confusing and overwhelming. Here are some tips that I have picked up along the way that might help you out with this new transition:


Schedule Wisely

working in college 1 One of the most difficult things about deciding to take on a job on top of classes is trying to find the time to make it all work without overloading yourself. If you work a job in which you have the chance to choose your own hours, you are one of the lucky ones! Schedule your classes around your work. Schedule your work around your classes. And schedule in time to have fun!

I am able to do this with my desk job, as my boss is pretty lenient with it. I specifically made sure that I had long gaps on at least two days during the week in which I could drive the 20 minutes commute to my office and back while still having enough time to make going into work worth it.

In case you’re interested in my specific schedule, here’s what I do for going into work:

Wednesday: Work from 10-3:30. Dinner. Class from 5:30 – 6:30.

Friday: Work from 9-12. Class from 1-2:50. Lunch.

There I schedule in chunks of time to make sure that I have a presence in the office, am able to make some decent money, and am still able to make it to my classes. Monday I would have time to go into work in the morning but I specifically blocked that off as a time to sleep in, relax, visit my boyfriend, and get any extra homework done.

If you are lucky enough to only need to work on the weekend then take advantage of that as much as you can! Work as many hours as possible, since you don’t need to schedule it around classes, and make sure to do your studying during the week.

Related Post: What to Carry in a College Backpack.


Use a Planner

working in college 2Ok, ok, I know that you’re probably thinking “gosh Dani, we get it, you’ve preached to us enough about planners!” but hear me out: it works!

How do I juggle my crazy work load and still keep sane? My planner. I have 3 planners that I work with to be able to organize everything. Even if it is during the summer and I’m only working one or two jobs with no classes, I still need to use a planner to keep it all together.

Don’t think that you’re not busy enough to need a planner, there are planners for everybody out there. Not sure which one is for you? Check out my complete guide to choosing a planner!

Planner Recommendations

Not sure where to start on the planner search? Here’s some recommendations:

More Planners

Interested in trying out some other planners? Here’s some recommendations!


Remember School Comes First

working in college 3This kind of plays back with the first point of scheduling: make sure you schedule in some homework and study time! Let’s say you only work during the school week when you have classes: take advantage of that and make sure to schedule time in for school work on the weekends! Let’s say you only work on the weekends: take advantage of that and schedule in time for school work during the week after your classes.

If you work a job with hours that are very up in the air and could be on both the weekend and during the week, take time whenever you get your work schedule to sit down with your planner and work everything in.. including school work.


Know When to Say “No”

working in college 4If you take on way too many projects at one time and work yourself thin until you have a mental breakdown and you know it clap your hands! I am way too guilty of this. I literally have to schedule in relaxation time and Netflix watching time.

I also feel really bad when people ask me for help on a project and I am too busy, so I say yes to everything! I have been trying hard to be better about this lately, and it has paid off. I’ve learned that it is ok to say “no”.. healthy even!

Also, if you feel bad about saying “no” then try finding people to delegate things to so it’s not all on your shoulders and you still help out.


Get Actual Sleep + Have Actual Fun

working in college 6Let’s be honest, you’re not going to be able to get through a full day of classes and work without enough sleep!

Let’s be honest again, if you’re in college 8 hours of sleep a night is nearly unheard of. From late night study sessions and party hopping to clubbing and Netflix watching.. you’re going to have to fight to get a good night’s sleep every single night. Especially if you have insomnia like I do.

The best you can do is try. Try to make sure that on the nights in which you have class the next morning, or work, that you choose a reasonable time to make sure you are going to put everything down and go to sleep.

Don’t forget: Power naps are your best friend! I may or may not have specifically scheduled my classes this year to give me time in between my longest day to squeeze in a power nap… 😉

Also, remember to have fun! Find time to relax, do some yoga, go out with friends, celebrate all the hard work you are doing. Celebrate the money you are making!

Make sure that you try to find little joys in your day at work as well, those can help you get through a tough day!

Related Post: Start Your Own Successful Blog


Become a Productive Procrastinator

working in college 5College students are procrastinators by nature. Beat that. When you have so many things to do (school work, tasks for work, projects for clubs, etc) it can be hard to get anything done when all you want to do is not do that.

Instead of giving in and binge watching a TV show, try being a productive procrastinator.

For example, say you can’t focus on your school work and you find yourself procrastinating from that, take the time to procrastinate from that task by completing another one! Confused? Intrigued? Check out my guide on how to become a productive procrastinator!


Do you have any tips for those trying to juggle busy schedules without losing their minds? What are you involved in?


SigLine

 

Juggling Work and College
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31 thoughts on “Juggling Work and College

  • September 10, 2015 at 11:26 am
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    Wow, you really are busy! The theatre work I do is my major paying job, but I also have another part time gig just because I like the extra spending money lol. Just those two wipe me out sometimes…and I’m not even in school anymore! D: You must be exhausted!
    Natalie Patalie recently posted…8 Photos of HappinessMy Profile

    Reply
  • September 10, 2015 at 1:10 pm
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    I’m so impressed with all that you have on your plate and how you manage it all. Great tips and nicely organized post. My tip for trying to juggle it all is to have reminders in my cell along with keeping a day planner. Doing both seem to help a lot.

    Reply
    • September 13, 2015 at 7:55 pm
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      Thank you so much! 🙂
      Yes reminders on your phone are a must! I do that by connecting my phone to Google Calendar so I can set everything up on my computer (since it’s easier to type and manage on there) and its instantly sent to my phone, great tip to add!

      Reply
  • September 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm
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    Yet another post where I question whether we’re actually the same person…. Well said, Dani!

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    • September 13, 2015 at 7:55 pm
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      Hahaha are you always busy too? Do you work well under stress.. or.. ONLY work under stress? Then we just might be the same person 😉

      Reply
  • September 10, 2015 at 9:42 pm
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    I’m actually about to start a new full time job and grad school at the same time so I can totally relate to this post and will definitely have to keep these tips in mind.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys
    Jenny recently posted…Photofy ReviewMy Profile

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    • September 13, 2015 at 7:54 pm
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      I’m glad you can relate! You’ll be great at your new job, and I’m sure you’ll be able to juggle it with grad school really well! 🙂 Just remember to schedule in time for yourself.

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  • September 11, 2015 at 7:51 pm
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    Wow you sound super busy!!! Great tips for getting it all organised though, and totally agree with you on the power of the planner 🙂 I used to work 30 hours a week while I was at Law school, plus volunteering at local law offices…I pretty much didn’t sleep for 5 years straight 🙂 but it was worth it, as I had money for travel!

    Reply
    • September 13, 2015 at 7:53 pm
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      Planners are crazy powerful! Especially for people (like me) who go “yeah I’ll totally remember that” and forget it 5 minutes later..
      That sounds crazy! I feel like I haven’t slept in 5 years either, so I feel you!

      Reply
  • September 11, 2015 at 9:43 pm
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    Look at you go! Here’s to lots of energy. NPR is doing an interesting series on college students and college debt right now. They should have contacted you!

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  • September 15, 2015 at 3:33 pm
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    This was an incredibly helpful post for me. This semester I am taking 20 credit hours and working two jobs. I have to learn how to juggle my time effectively or it won’t end well.

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  • October 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm
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    These are awesome tips!I’m a sophomore also but this is the first semester Im going to school full time while working twice the amount of hours I did freshman year.!This post would go perfectly with my top 10 college study tips on my blog.

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  • November 20, 2015 at 10:40 am
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    Great! Now, if you’re a mom on top of this, cross out the “have fun and sleep well” parts! Ha ha!

    I’m a freelance illustrator, full-time momma of two under the age of two years old, and a full-time student in accelerated classes. So some of this is helpful for me. 🙂

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  • December 29, 2015 at 12:50 pm
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    Great post! I’m currently in high school, working two jobs + a blog, volunteering. and am pulling my hair out lol. I want to get organized before I start college and I think buying another planner will help. Great tips!

    Reply
    • January 11, 2016 at 1:18 pm
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      I totally feel that. There’s days where I feel like I’m drowning and I want to quit everything and make time to nap for a couple of weeks.. and there’s times where I feel incredibly happy and proud of myself for handling everything. Stick with it, it’ll be worth it! Let me know if I can help in any way 🙂

      Reply
  • January 23, 2016 at 3:21 pm
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    Wow these are incredible tips!! I work two part time jobs and I am a full time college student as well…I have a huge chalk board calendar above my desk to help me see everything I have going on in a big picture way. I also use a paper planner and a computer calendar just to keep track! It’ been a struggle managing my crazy life schedule but I work best under pressure and I love the challenge. Thanks for the helpful reminders that I’m not the only crazy one haha!

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  • January 31, 2016 at 5:19 pm
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    We sound super similar, at least in how busy we are! I have 7 classes, work 18.5 hours on the weekend only, volunteer between 3 and 6 hours a week helping teach judo with my judo instructor, do 4 hours of judo with the club, try to run my own business, and I do manage to sleep at least 7 hours and have some fun.
    I use a lot of things. My planner, I have an app on my ipad called timetable, its been a lifesaver, I use wunderlist, an app for assignments, and just writing everything down!!! It works lol

    Reply
  • April 16, 2016 at 11:04 pm
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    I absolutely love this post! I’m also one of the many who works, has a job, and recently started a side business in direct sales. Sometimes it can be so overwhelming. I recently got a planner to be religious about and I just feel so much more put-together.

    Reply
  • May 4, 2016 at 11:40 am
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    This particular post is written for a younger person working while attending college, but she has valid points that can relate to adult learners as well. Her may point is to schedule time for everything, including fun and relaxation time. It is important to remain balance in life and to take time for everything as well. The author also mentioned the importance to scheduling time to study, and not just study when you have time

    Reply
  • May 4, 2016 at 7:02 pm
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    This particular post is written for a younger person working while attending college, but she has valid points that can relate to adult learners as well. Her may point is to schedule time for everything, including fun and relaxation time. It is important to remain balance in life and to take time for everything as well. The author also mentioned the importance to scheduling time to study, and not just study when you have time.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2016 at 7:16 pm
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    LOVE it! I have found myself drowning in school work and work work many many times. You never disappoint me with new tips on how to keep myself together! I too am a procrastinating overachiever and I like to stay busy. You are by far my favorite blogger and you actually inspired me to create my own blog! I look forward to more of your clever adverbs that always seem to describe me perfectly!

    Reply
  • August 10, 2016 at 9:10 pm
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    Hi, Great article!!… but I’ve been looking into getting a planner and was wondering if you have any suggestions? The ones in your photos look like they’re just what I need!

    Reply
  • February 13, 2017 at 7:32 am
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    This post is too real for me! I’m currently working three part-time jobs while being a full-time uni student and running a travel blog – which requires a lot of traveling too. Any tips for students with unpredictable working hours? I’m supposed to only work on weekends but my job sometimes requires me to do some extra unpredictable work to meet certain deadlines and I’ve been having a hard time to keep up even with a planner and daily to-do lists! If you’ve got some suggestions to help a girl out, that would be super helpful.

    Love all your content btw! Best wishes from Jakarta, Indonesia

    Reply
    • February 21, 2017 at 12:06 am
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      Hey Mary! Thanks so much for reaching out 🙂
      My first thought is maybe instead of a daily to-do list, try a weekly one. Write down all the things that you have to do this week and whenever you find yourself with down time knock a task or two off your list.
      Also, I just started using a really cool scheduling and to-do list tool called Plan! If you’re on my mailing list I recently sent out a big e-mail all about Plan and how awesome it is – I think it would be totally beneficial for someone who has unpredictable hours like yourself. Their website is here: https://getplan.co
      If you want me to send you more info about it and how I use it, let me know and I totally will 🙂

      Reply
  • June 16, 2017 at 6:41 pm
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    so I am a guy and I found the link to your blog on Pintrest. I noticed that you titled your blog Inspiring College Women. Let me just say, your blogs do not just inspire women, they inspire guy college students as well. why limit your blog to “inspire women”? I loved this blog post about organizing work and school because I am in that boat trying to figure out how I am going to survive balancing school and work this coming Fall. These tips are going to help me for sure. I know it! Thanks!

    Reply
  • July 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm
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    Thank you so much for sharing these tips!!! They’re really going to help me get through the upcoming semester.
    I’m not as busy as you are – I’m in undergrad school and working 14h per week. There was a time, though, when I had a lot to do at work AND in school and there was nothing I could delegate to anybody. And on top of it all, I got sick. At that time, I found myself thinking “No, you can’t stay at home, rest and try to get better, you have too much stuff to do.” So I went to work and school while being sick because there would have been too much at stake if hadn’t gone.
    Have you ever had the same problem? Thoughts like this aren’t really healthy, I guess … What would you recommend to do in a situation like this?

    Best wishes from Vienna, Austria!

    Reply

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