The working student is a healthy carrier of dark circles but also of indispensable skills. Here’s how to combine study and work in 7 key points.
In recent years, universities have seen a growing abandonment of studies by many students, but among these, the number of those who decide to undertake the university course is also increasing by pursuing a work commitment. However, combining study and work is not that easy!
Whether for strictly economic reasons or for a personal search for independence, the life of the working students is studded with obligations, prohibitions, one-way streets and renunciations. If finding work is a huge undertaking, keeping it is even more so. Then we add the duties related to the continuation of the university career and here the weight risks crushing us even before we can take the first steps.
But is it really possible to reconcile study and work?
Of course yes. And I’ll tell you more: it is one of the most formative experiences you can decide to undertake. But like all growth paths, it requires a great deal of discipline. If you are just starting out and you have a full agenda and a lot of confusion in your head, close your eyes and take a deep breath : you can do it. Don’t feel overwhelmed, you hold the reins.
If you are entering the world of work and do not know how to create your Curriculum, you can find some interesting ideas here.
Surely the choice (or the need) to work by studying makes us doubt more than once the actual feasibility. Don’t worry: studying at university and keeping a full-time job is possible. But how?
Here are 5 tips from those who are doing it to reconcile study and work, and to complete a mission that is anything but impossible:
1. Feed the motivation
It might seem like a trivial piece of advice, but when you get to plan every minute of your day you will need something really strong to keep going … and no, I’m not talking about the alcohol of the university parties, but the “food” of the working student: motivation . If you have decided to take this path you will already know that the word sacrifice is your friend and foe, so it is essential to find a job that you like.
If relevant to your studies, even better. This way you will use your work to study and it will be easier for you to place what you find yourself learning in your mind. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, but try to see the work (whether you are an assistant in a notary’s office or a delivery associate ) from a learning perspective.
Remember that your experience is not comparable to any university course. Don’t lose sight of who you want to become, especially when the days get really hard to deal with. Tip: Before procrastinating, ask yourself if this choice brings you closer or further from your goal. The answer will speak a lot about your real motivation.
2. Refine organizational skills
You will have to learn to manage your commitments by optimizing times. An agenda and a lot, but a lot of good will and flexibility will be needed. It is important that you immediately understand the workload to carry out to take the exam, so get the material as soon as possible and create a roadmap that will become your Bible.
Remember that colleagues and owners will care little about your extra work commitments and you will often be asked for “a little more effort”. It will be up to you to set the bar to ensure that work does not completely invade your life. Make things clear right away, with yourself first of all: motivation and organization are the key to success. Decide in time what you are willing to sacrifice (because unfortunately you will always have to give up something) and plan your study on the basis of free time. But then stick to the plans!
3. Respect your body
When we are overburdened with commitments we are prone to neglect ourselves. Maybe you decide to study at night to keep yourself going. Maybe you can do it when you are close to the exam and you need to review what you studied weeks before, but keep in mind that with this pace you will not go very far.
Reconciling study and work, as mentioned before, requires an inexhaustible source of energy that you can only maintain by treating your body with strict discipline. It is compulsory to include hours to be devoted to rest and leisure among one’s commitments. Remember that lack of sleep impairs your ability to memorize and may even hinder you in the long run.
In this context, remember that sporting activity is also important, for at least two aspects: the main one is the cognitive benefits deriving from physical effort; the second in the discharge of stress accumulated during study and / or work, and in the chemical production of hormones, proteins, neurotransmitters and other chemical substances, leaving sensations of psycho-physical well-being at the end of the effort.
As for leisure, you must remember that you are a human being and as such you have the right and duty to indulge in moments of pure relaxation. Whether it is 20 minutes a day or a couple of hours a week, make sure that there is always that little space just for you, to make you remain the complete person made up of duties, but also of social interactions, relaxation and play. You just can’t afford to lose your head: for you in particular, who need your clarity, entertainment is a serious matter.
4. Find a method that fits your needs
With tight times, you can’t really afford to waste precious hours copying beautiful notes or creating colorful summaries. Try to find a method that allows you to memorize photographically without having to stay in the same steps for too long.
The search for the study method is something absolutely personal and is linked to our habits and experiences. As an example, the study room can be the perfect place for some to study, for others it can be a reason for socialization and therefore distraction.
As an indication, directly underline the handouts or books with colored pencils and immediately repeat aloud. If you want, you can create concept maps with keywords that will be useful for picking up the thread when you go to review.
Create an environment as favorable as possible even if you often and unwillingly find yourself studying while waiting for your turn at the doctor or in line at the post office. Few things, but simple and effective: in your case more than in others, quality more than quantity counts.
If you are a full-time worker, it might be a good idea to apply for the part-time student regime, which allows you to pursue university with different timelines that take into account the current work commitment.
5. Leave perfectionism aside
There are probably those who boast a booklet strewn with best grades despite their work commitments, and you, while gnawing, will be wondering how this is possible. Forget the chatter and focus on yourself.
Let go of the manias of perfectionism and accept your limits, even more so if you are in the position of having to reconcile an important mental commitment such as study with that of work. The pursuit of perfection can, in some cases, also be a symptom of high stress, lack of confidence, or an incorrect interpretation of reality or the situation. Either way, it will be a barrier to academic success.
Try to carry out the study in the best possible way, but don’t beat yourself up if the average drops drastically: it is physiological. Remember your reasons: graduation goal, nothing else exists. Unless you want to stay another 5 years in the Faculty…
Abandon your studies? No way!
According to recent statistics, the school dropout rate is more frequent among students who decide to try to combine study and work. The risks you run are those of overloading yourself, and therefore not being able to carry out both commitments in a balanced way, or to let yourself be completely taken by work.
The latter option may mean that you have found a stimulating environment that does not make you regret the university classrooms. But remember that you chose to enroll for a reason: who were you when you chose it? What has changed? What prospects does this job offer you? Is a degree necessary for career advancement or did you choose the university only for personal expectations? When you go to bed in the evening, tired and exhausted, it is easy to get carried away by the temptation to give up everything.
Whether you decide to move on or leave something behind, it all boils down to the same simple question: how much do you really want it?
In conclusion, to reconcile study and work, it is necessary not to lose sight of the main objective for which you do it or you risk getting lost; at the same time it is important to know how to seize opportunities when they arise and grasp their added value for your future.
You can also find tips and ideas to improve your academic performance thanks to our completely free guides!