The closer students get to graduation, the more time and effort they start spending on a job search. The research of job descriptions, writing a resume, submitting job applications, attending interviews – all this takes lots of energy. And given that they try hard to deal with the process while studying and completing a diploma, one thing is 100% clear:
It’s a grand challenge to balance job search and study. And if we are socially active students who work part-time, take part in college life, and need extra time for personal life, the mission seems impossible.
The struggle for this balance goes hand in hand with physical fatigue and emotional stresses. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. How to find it with minimum costs?
The primary goal here is to organize everything to continue to perform best in studying, have energy for job search resources, and still maintain a sense of self. It’s possible to do with some commitment, planning, and self-discipline.
The below tips can help.
Keeping everyone informed
Students shouldn’t be afraid of looking weak or unable to deal with all the college, work, and daily routine tasks. After all, we’re not multi-functional robots. If we have to combine a job search or part-time job with study, there will inevitably be times when all those schedules clash.
To avoid this, let’s let our university staff, boss, and relatives know about our schedule.
- Flag all the study sessions and exams in the calendar for co-workers to know when we are unavailable.
- Seek advice from a student center on the possibility of reorganizing schedules if we struggle to meet deadlines.
- Tell our closest ones when we’re busy, so they’d better not disturb us.
Creating a flexible schedule
It stands to reason that some parts of our everyday schedule won’t be flexible: class times, tests, exams, workdays, etc. However, we can always take advantage of what’s left:
Let’s build a flexible routine around our must-dos. Assign some hours to surf job search resources and send applications, be flexible with hours to do homework, and be ready for a sudden work crisis, new assignments, or any other unexpected things.
We should be ready to reorganize everything and adapt to changes with no considerable waste.
Prioritizing tasks and being realistic
Again, we are not robots. To keep up with everything, we need to stay realistic with what we can handle and prioritize tasks accordingly. Some guides to prioritization can help here.
Let’s be honest with ourselves and not try to bite more than we can chew. If we know that we’ll need four hours to write an essay or an hour to check emails, it’s not ok to leave it to the last minute in the hope of completing it for an hour. Last-minute work often results in bad results and lower grades. So, we need to decide on priorities and organize schedules to focus on what matters most.
Sure enough, there should be time for leisure and communication with friends, but our primary goals shouldn’t suffer.
Learning time management
Self-discipline and time management skills are what will help us with work-life balance. It’s a key to career success, healthy life, and happy beingness.
We need to know how to plan tasks, get organized and remove distractions, break down big projects into smaller steps or goals so they won’t look so daunting, and avoid multitasking.
Productivity apps can assist with keeping on track with all this. Time management skills are a sure-fire way to more accomplishments, better decisions, and less stress – everything we need to balance different areas of student life.
Taking care of health and managing stress
Stress is inevitable when struggling with work-life balance and trying to deal with many tasks at once. We can’t avoid it, but we can manage it. For that, let’s help our bodies stay healthy:
- On a calendar, schedule time for exercising.
- Get enough sleep: 7-9 hours, and certainly at night.
- Pay attention to what and how we eat: Nutritional wellbeing matters for both physical and mental health.
- Go with our gut, grow emotional intelligence to analyze our reactions to stressful situations, and learn to handle that. If we feel that we need some break, time for meditation or breathing practices – let’s make it: 15-20 minutes can recharge and boost productivity by far.
Setting boundaries and learning to say no
This one goes hand in hand with prioritization, but it’s more about human relations and the fear of looking rude. Most of us can’t deny requests from family members, classmates, or co-workers, sacrificing our priorities this way. But for more efficient time management and work-life balance, it’s critical to learn to say no.
If someone asks us to help or do something for them right now, but we see it’s not our duty or we have no time for that, let’s not be afraid of saying no. It’s not about bad manners but boundaries and priorities we set to accomplish goals and succeed.
And last but not least, let’s reward ourselves after we’ve completed an important task (got an A for a test, being invited to a job interview, etc.). Rewarding encourages us to continue trying and working hard, developing good habits, and making plans for the future.
A good thing would be choosing rewards that fit our nature and mood most. It can be a dinner in a café, a fun day trip to a neighboring city, shopping, taking a bath with candles, etc.
And let’s remember about taking regular breaks and having rest. We all need time to recharge energies and get inspired to keep working towards our goals.