While quite a few students find it difficult to reconcile work and study, some of them manage to graduate successfully, even when they have part-time employment.
In this article, we will analyze all available options and suggest a small recipe for studying and working simultaneously.
Let’s start by saying that some students are forced to find a job in order to be able to pay for their studies. Others decide to do it because they want to become independent and gain some hands-on experience during their study period.
Freelance work: you can be self-employed and provide services to other people. For example, a graphic designer can create logos for small businesses and be completely independent.
Part-time work: you can work half the time a full-time employee does. An order with a reduced number of hours and prearranged shifts can be considered part-time employment.
Full-time work: you can get a job that requires your presence at work for at least 8 hours per day (except Saturdays and Sundays). There are exceptions and different types of contracts, but working full-time basically means you’re a 9:5 employee.
Depending on the type of work you do, you may find it challenging to keep up with your studies. Also, as working hours increase, you may suffer from severe physical and mental fatigue.
However, studying and working is, in my opinion, the two sides of the same coin. By attending classes, students can obtain skills they would be unable to get if they concentrated solely on their work.
Students who decide to become freelancers are probably in the most advantageous position.
Why? Because a freelancer can independently manage study and work time based on their needs.
Working and studying become two activities that can be carried out simultaneously.
Freelancing includes occasional jobs that can be carried out for just one month or call jobs such as a Saturday night waiter or pizza delivery guy.
What makes this type of employment particularly attractive is that it provides students with an opportunity to study and work simultaneously.
Doing a part-time job is definitely more challenging than freelancing.
This is also partly true. A freelancer can be very busy, but it is up to them to decide whether to accept orders or dedicate themselves to attending university.
I personally had studied and worked part-time (as well as did some small freelance jobs) for 5 years.
I believe it is one of the most advantageous forms of employment for a student, although its contractual nature may force you to skip a few lectures.
It is also essential that the company offering the job is willing to be flexible. If, for example, you find a position in the office, there should be no problems in this regard.
With a bit of extra effort, you can gain some hands-on experience (it would be great if you could get a job related to your studies) and a degree.
A full-time job is far more challenging than the ones listed above.
Studying and working full-time turns out to be the most difficult combination, and I advise against it because you might even be forced to buy college papers online.
For those who already work and want to get a degree, the situation is different. If you can’t get by without full-time employment but want to get a diploma, this is your only way to do it.
However, if you just finished high school and want to continue studying, a full-time job may not the best solution for you.
Studying for at least 8 hours a day means carving out a few hours in the evening (definitely not enough to keep up with your classes) and learning when you’re tired.
In any case, for those who study and work this way, I suggest inquiring about part-time study plans at your university.
Having study plans makes it possible for you to know the exact graduation date and avoid paying additional fees.
Even if it takes you more time to get a degree, you will at least be able to avoid being fined for falling behind with your studies.
After analyzing the differences between work types, we would like to dedicate a small paragraph to the importance of working and studying simultaneously.
To perform a job, whether a freelance or part-time one, is a highly formative activity.
The advantages are innumerable and range from picking up essential skills to boosting one’s self-esteem.
Work helps students to be more productive and lets them gain some hands-on experience.
Many parents say: “You should not be working now. We will take care of your university fees.”
Self-esteem: some students may feel more motivated if they are no longer dependent on their parents. While it may be very convenient for some young people to remain under the protective wing of their parents, others may feel a strong need to be independent. Therefore, working while studying can be an ideal solution for them.
Organize yourself: there is a difference between spending a day at home (or in the library) studying (or pretending to) and spending 4 hours in the office and then having only half a day left for studying. If the latter is the case, a working student should improve their organizational and time-management skills. Otherwise, they may fall behind their studies in a few months.
Depending on the work you do, you will have to learn to be more systematic.
Improving teamwork and communication skills: working and studying is not just about increasing one’s self-esteem and being better at self-discipline. It is also about picking up “soft skills,” or skills that are secondary to the main ones (e.g., a computer programmer, an engineer, a doctor, etc.) that will be very useful in your academic and everyday life.
I realized this while studying for my master’s degree. The projects I did back then required me to do a lot of work in a group. Thanks to that, I was able to achieve a simpler, more organized, and better-structured workflow. And that, in turn, allowed me to get the highest possible grades.
OK, we’re almost there. Here are some useful tips for those who are finding it hard to study and work at the same time.
I managed to combine study and work thanks to these basic rules:
Prioritize subjects: if you work and study at the same time, it can be a pain to understand which classes you should attend no matter what. To make the right choice, you should pay attention to the way teachers educate during their classes (a good instructor doesn’t just read slides but also explains things and encourages students to participate in the discussion). But, keep in mind that there are obligatory courses that still require your presence.
Keep your notes clean and organized: if you decide to attend a lecture, you should make the most of it. Make cursory notes of the main points and try to understand the essence behind the professor’s words. When you combine notes with what you learn from books, you won’t have to copy the notes the way many students do.
Avoid useless lessons: if you do not attend a lesson, it is because you have no time or because it is not worth it. Why then waste 2 or 3 hours if you’re tired? Not recommended!
Cultivate friendship: making friends with the right people is essential for those who work and study. You can always rely on your friends for notes, summaries, or clarifications when you can’t attend a lesson or are behind with your studies.
Time management: studying and working at the same time requires a strong predisposition to organization and planning. Organize your time by adding study schedules to the calendar. Remember — you can’t leave things to chance!
Studying and working at the same time is possible if you are willing to make some initial sacrifices, manage your time well, and have enough commitment to what you do.