So, you’ve made the decision to get Higher Learning? (lol get it?) Congratulations on your new journey! You have so much to look forward to. New people, knowledge, good food, and freedom. College is a blast, however, it’s also a reality check. You weren’t ready for that huh? As you fly away from the nest spreading your wings and feeling the winds of freedom, responsibility slaps you in the face! Maybe not literally, but it’s real. I had a full time job the entire time I was in college. There was one point where I was working two jobs and taking 12 credit hours! Don’t ask, it’s all a blur at this point. Like myself and many others, working and going to school is HARD, TIRING, and HARD. But don’t worry, I will try to help you through some of my learning experiences.
- Plan your classes around work or create your availability for work
I have worked in retail industry for over five years and have been department manager four of them. The common struggle I have with employees going to school is that they do not schedule their classes correctly. Their courses collide with work, they miss tests, they miss work, and someone always get written up for poor attendance. It’s a hot ass mess. I understand school is very important and for those who must work, it is also very important. So ideally you don’t want to miss either one of them. My advice to you is if you are a person who must work, or is working full time (like myself) the best thing to do is plan your classes around your work schedule.
For example, I had a schedule where I closed Mondays but off work on Tuesdays. I would have a morning Monday class and/or have a class Tuesday. If you do not have the opportunity to have a set schedule or don’t have to work as often, give a time off request to your employer so they know when to schedule you. Most importantly, please be realistic. If you get out of class at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, do not tell your employer you are available on Tuesdays starting at 12 p.m. You need time to get there don’t you think? I told my employees to give themselves enough time to decompress from school and prepare for work. So, instead of being available at 12 p.m., they would be available at 1 p.m. Trust me, your employer wants you to succeed, you need to help them, help you.
- Balance and breathe
Balance between work, life, and school, is essential and extremely important. I’m sure you are a hard worker and I applaud you for trying to better yourself by going to school and being responsible by working, but you need rest too. Every super hero has their weakness. As I like to think of us as super humans, remember we are human. We need rest, we need to “woo saw,” we need a break. Finding the time to breathe from work and school will help you maintain your sanity. I am not saying to, “slack off “or “don’t give it your all,” but to find breathing ground in the midst of all your awesomeness. If you find yourself too overwhelmed or too stressed please find someone to talk to. Your college will provide a counselor to be there for you when you need them. There is nothing wrong with trying to breathe and find your balance.
The next important thing is planning. Since you will have work and school on your plate, you need to plan time to study, do homework and projects. You will need to be able to plan both your school and work schedule. Find a planning technique that works for YOU! What may work for me, may not work for you and vice versa. When you come up with a plan, you must follow it. The very act of a plan, doesn’t mean anything. You must execute your plan. No matter what technique you use, I can assure you it will help to make things easier. I always keep a journal and a pocket calendar with me. It works for me. So, you need to find a plan that works for you too.
Now that we have covered scheduled availability, balance, and planning, it’s time to set you free little bird…FLY, FLY, FLY!