Ask Angel – Balancing Work and School

“How do you balance going to school and having a part time job?” –  A minimum wage employee

Dear minimum wage employee,

Maintaining a successful balance between going to school and having a job is very important as you don’t want to fall behind in either. As high school progresses, your school workload only increases, and many struggle to find time to complete assignments while having a job. You must learn what will work for you in creating your perfect balance, one that involves maintaining good grades while still having time to work. 

The number one complaint from people struggling to balance a part-time job and schoolwork is the feeling that you never have time to do both. When you’re working many hours and cramming all your homework into your free time, it will result in feeling overwhelmed. The key to balancing school and a stress-free job, is to successfully manage your time. It has worked for me and it will work for you too! 

Managing your time successfully is all about planning and prioritizing. You must learn to plan your time accordingly so that on the days you are not working, you are completing your schoolwork. It is important to do this early on as the best planning is done in advance! At the beginning of the week, figure out when all of your homework, assignments, and tests are due.  Write all that information down with their due dates in order of importance. Once you have your schoolwork sorted out you must move on to organizing your work-dedicated time. Using your work schedule, figure out which days you are working that week. Take the days you know you are working and combine it with your homework list. Form a schedule or a time-planned list that informs you of which days you must complete what school work and which days you are working. You will be completing school work on specific days, that work around your job schedule. It is all about thinking ahead. If you have a test Wednesday and work on Tuesday, then obviously you’re unable to study on Tuesday. This means that you must plan in advance to study on your free day, Monday. Planning your time will enable you to still complete school work and study on time while not missing any work shifts. 

In my experience, what always helped me to manage a part-time job and keep up my grades, was to communicate with my teachers and my manager. By communicating with my manager and expressing that balancing school and a job is hard, it let them know how they could help me. My manager scheduled me less (only three times a week) so that I still had four days to complete my school work. Having a job during high school is a huge responsibility. There is no one but yourself to advocate your needs to your teacher and manager, so it is all up to you. You must communicate with people on ways they can help you, that won’t majorly affect them. Working fewer hours and every other day allowed me enough time to get my school work completed and helped me feel less overwhelmed. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed is a part of high school, but advocating your needs to whoever necessary can definitely make balancing a job and school work easier. 

Maintaining a successful balance between going to school and having a part-time job is definitely hard at times. It will require extra effort and planning in order for you to not fall behind in either. Using tips from this article: effective time management skills, and communicating with your manager, you can create your own perfect balance! Managing a job along with a busy life is something you will do forever, so why not perfect that balance now? It is all up to you and the effort you put into it. Good luck! 

Lots of love, 

Angel