As a student, you have a lot on your plate. Between classes, homework, extracurricular activities, and socializing, it can be hard to find time for anything else. And if you’re working a part-time job or internship, it can be even harder to balance everything. However, although it may seem impossible, there are ways to manage your time and make the most of your day.
Make a schedule
Although this may seem like a no-brainer, sitting down and making a daily or weekly schedule can be incredibly helpful. The first step is to write down everything you have to do in a day or week, including classes, homework, work shifts, extracurricular activities and social plans. Once you have everything written down, you can start to see where your time is going and where you might be able to make some cuts. For example, if you’re spending two hours a day on social media, you might be able to cut back to 30 minutes.
Next, you can start to block out time for each activity. Make sure to include some downtime in your schedule, so you don’t get too overwhelmed. For instance, if you have a three-hour block of time between classes, you might want to use the first hour to do homework, the second hour to study, and the third hour to relax or socialize. Just remember to be flexible; your schedule is meant to be a guideline, not a strict set of rules.
What’s more important to you? Getting a good grade on your math test or going to your friend’s basketball game? If you have limited time, you need to be able to prioritize what’s most important to you. For instance, if you know you have a big project due next week, you might want to spend more time working on that than hanging out with friends. If you have a test the next day, you might want to study instead of going to that party. Of course, it’s important to have a balance between school and your personal life, but when you’re short on time, you need to be able to prioritize.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it can be tempting to just keep going and try to power through it. However, this is usually not the best idea. Taking a break can help you clear your head and come back to your work with fresh eyes. Whether you take a five-minute break to walk around or a 20-minute break to watch an episode of your favorite show, taking some time for yourself can help you refocus and be more productive. Another way to take a break is to work on something else for a little while. If you’re stuck on one project, working on another can help you take a mental break and come back to the first project with fresh ideas.
If you live in apartments near your school, such as the renowned apartments near Texas A&M, you may find it easier to manage your time and balance school with work because of the close proximity to your classes and workplace.
Ask for help
There’s no shame in admitting that you need help. If you’re struggling to balance everything, talk to your parents, teachers or friends. They might be able to offer some advice or give you a hand with something. For instance, if you’re having trouble with your math homework, your friend who’s good at math might be able to help you. Or, if you’re struggling to stay on top of your classes, your parents might be able to hire a tutor. Asking for help can take some of the pressure off and make it easier to manage everything, which includes your time off from school and work.
Make time for yourself and learn to say no
Although it’s important to manage your time wisely, it’s also important to make some time for yourself. Whether it’s taking a few minutes each day to read or going for a walk on your lunch break, carving out some time for yourself can help you relax and recharge. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking some time for yourself can help you refocus and be more productive.
Also, although it can be difficult, sometimes you need to say no. If you’re invited to go out with friends, but you know you have a lot of school projects, it might be better to stay in and get your work done. Or, if your boss asks you to stay late at work but you have an early class the next day, you might need to say no. Learning to say no can be tough, but it’s important to put your own needs first sometimes.
There are a lot of demands on your time when you’re balancing school and work, but by following these tips, you can make it work. Just remember to be flexible, set priorities, take breaks, ask for help and make time for yourself. With a little effort and some planning, you can find the perfect balance between school and work.