To work while studying is something that will really stress you out if you don’t know how to manage your time and settle your priorities. Your life, your work, your relationships all seem to conspire to deny you the time needed to do the reading, the writing, and the classes needed to complete your course of study, or so it seems.
However, it doesn’t mean that you have to punish yourself and neglect the enjoyment that is offered by student life. As for me, now that I have to balance my work and my studies, I follow some guiding principles so that as much as possible I would not sacrifice my performance in school and in my work.
There are a lot of things to consider before I decide on how I will spend an hour, a minute, or a moment of my day but to manage time does not mean about getting more time, it is about using it more effectively. We can’t control time, but we can always settle what to do with it. Planning my day ahead and knowing what my limitations are, I try to follow a scheduled time so that I won’t be trapped in a situation that is already out of my control.
And with other obligations, I know that I have less study time than those students who can spend full-time on study. So, I know that I have to maximize it. There are times here and there which I use to maximize my time. For example, reading a course material on the commute, during the meal break at work, while waiting for the class to start, or in other spare minutes. Since these pockets of times are short-spare time in between tasks, I make my reading materials in a handy format.
Then, as much as possible, I try to connect with others. I know that I should not take it all by myself. A good way to combat stress and loneliness is to seek out the company of people whom you know you can have a good time and share your problems with. Those “pieces of gold”, or the positive and enjoyable moments could lift up my spirits and help me to begin to see things in a new and balanced way.
And lastly, I learn to always see things positively. That is a rule of thumb, because if I allow myself to be consumed by negative thoughts, it will only leave me depressed and would not be able to cope up with what my schedule asks of me. To always ask GOD for guidance and acknowledging that I cannot do things by my own. I just always remind myself that I am a student who is working, not a worker who is studying. I always put my studies first before anything because I know that it is one thing that I can hold on in the long run. To work while studying is one opportunity that I know I should be thankful, so now that I am already in this situation and is handling more responsibility, I just see this as a chance to grow and become more of a better, mature person.
Any working student may agree with me that it is really hard to balance school and work, so to those who are committing their time fully to their studies, do not envy us when we receive our salaries. Just be grateful because time cannot be bought. That’s one thing that I have learned since I started to become a working student.