Finding study-work balance sure can be hectic, but not impossible. As a young adult who’s enrolled in a university with attendance requirements, keeping a job alongside may come off as energy-draining and/or distracting.
Still, your desire for the feeling of independence and achievement you gain through working controls you. Your heart is set on several goals; being a good student, getting good if not exceptional marks, graduating at the expected time all while being the employee of the month at your job. Dear working undergraduates, we’re in the same boat.
As Egyptian university students, we face a lot of pressure from family, relatives, and even some friends on how our lives should revolve around studying with no consideration of what we aim to accomplish.
Working undergraduates compromise their personal lives, miss out on outings, concerts, and travelling, all for the sense of achievement, a stable income of our own, and starting early at building a career.
COVID-19 pandemic was not the best era of our lives. However, the changes that occurred to university education during said time can be to your advantage. Managing time has definitely been one heck of a painful chore before, but now it’ll be much more comfortable. With a few simple tips, you’ll find the so-called “study-work balance”:
Disclaimer: As of the time of writing this article, the last ministerial decree stated that universities will be giving classes 2 days a week for theoretical faculties and 3 days for practical ones.
1. Work Part-Time If You Can
Some companies which hire undergraduates are aware of the fact they have classes to commit to and exams to attend. Such companies may have the option to have you working part-time either it’ll be working only 3 days per week, or 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week.
By doing this, you’re giving yourself the time to study, attend college, and have a life. Plus, this gives you the privilege of being able to work overtime in case you want to increase your salary, according to your schedule.
2. Classes Are a Priority
When you’re a student, and you get a new job, it can be overwhelming. You want to devote time, learn everything, and master it as soon as possible. It takes up so much time, especially if you’re working full-time and energy. Sometimes you let it run over your college schedule.
One week, you’re doing fine and the next, you’re missing classes for the sake of inflexible working shifts, and you’re just stuck in the middle worrying about both. You may even start to forget about studying and projects.
Well, it’s not the best thing to do, especially in regards to your future.
So, let your employer know your schedule beforehand, as well as exams’ schedules and let it be known how you won’t be able to work these days. Since they’re hiring undergraduates, it shouldn’t be a problem letting them in on how hard it is to pull of study-work balance.
They’ll find a work-around for you, either by an exam leave or letting you swap shifts and days off with another employee. In conclusion, don’t compromise college for a –possibly- temporary job.
3. Take a day off
Remember how we said working the job can be overwhelming? Doing both at the same time will drain you if you don’t let yourself rest. Yes, we may be attending college only 2-3 days a week, but making yourself work the remaining 5 days of the week is not the smartest choice.
That way, you’ll have almost no time for yourself. Make sure you have a day off, just to relax at home, travel, or see a friend. This is the most essential tip for achieving the perfect study-work balance and maintaining it.
4. Maintaining a Social Life is Not a Must, but Needed
We’re always told how being out and about is good for our mental health, but not really. For a working undergraduate, If you’re going to worry too much about doing it, it actually becomes a burden.
As humans, we go through phases from being pretty sociable; going out and talking to people more often than not, to finding comfort in being in our own company. How long some stay in a particular phase varies from a person to another.
You are forcing yourself to go out after work when you’re tired just to “have a social life” impacts you negatively. Stay connected to people you like when you have the time and feel like you want to. It could be a walk around the block with a neighbour, a phone call to a friend or brunch with a family member on a day off.
5. Make a Schedule and Stick to it, No Procrastinating
For you to achieve this, you need to be –somewhat- organized when it comes to time management. Just make a schedule with the days of classes, working times, and days off. You can even add a calendar to it for important dates like quizzes and deadlines.
Don’t rely so much on your memory because the busier you are, the more you’re likely to forget something you should totally not forget about. As university students in Egypt, we are hella busy. You can use applications and websites, like Trello.