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Balancing Work Life as a Full-Time Student

Posted on: August 10, 2021

Posted by Arielle


One thing you never fail to say when balancing work life as a full-time student is: “Wow. I’m tired.”

Other narratives include, “I need more sleep” or “I should call my friends to hang out because it’s been a century since I have emerged from my cave–.”

There are more, but you get the gist.

Here at Pulse, we have a few people who have simultaneously tackled or are still attending university while beginning their professional careers. Some days are easier than others, and then there are moments where we want to take a break from the world altogether. Through these experiences, we learned and collectively concluded that our well-being should never be sacrificed for the sake of anything.

Here at Pulse, we have a few people who have simultaneously tackled or are still attending university while beginning their professional careers. Some days are easier than others, and then there are moments where we want to take a break from the world altogether. Through these experiences, we learned and collectively concluded that our well-being should never be sacrificed for the sake of anything.

Also, coffee is not breakfast. It is a supplement to breakfast.

The golden question: why even attempt to balance work-life as a full-time student?

Everyone has a different answer. Some simply wanted to do so; others needed a stable income to pay for school in the first place. Regardless of a person’s reasons, there is one thing we agreed on: taking on such an ambitious feat was going to be challenging, and frankly, overwhelming. But we also knew that hustling and grinding double-time was going to be rewarding in the end.

Stable income, getting a head start in our careers, and throwing ourselves into the fire of new experiences left and right builds resilience and shows the world we are ready to face it just as much as receive what it has to offer.

Plus, we tend to have more stories to tell too.

Here’s how to balance work-life as a full-time student:

Reflect on what you want from your academic and professional experiences

Before pursuing any ambition, you should take the time to ask yourself what you want from the experience and result. For academics, do you have a goal to meet a certain GPA that gets you one step closer to graduate school–or maybe you want to network with professors in your field of study to open the doors for more collaborative opportunities? Do you want to strengthen skill sets that put you in a better position to ask for a raise in the workplace? Perhaps, you want to move up into a managerial role?

When you find yourself overwhelmed or lost on the journey to success, you can always look back on these aspirations to remind yourself why you have committed to attend school and develop your career simultaneously in the first place.

Furthermore, maintain an open dialogue about these goals with your boss and academic counselors to develop game plans to approach them best! Your workplace should understand how school comes first and be willing to work with you on following a schedule that allows you to balance obligations and take care of yourself.

Keep asking questions and never stop learning or growing

You’re never going to know all the answers, nor will you ever–but that’s the beauty of it! Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something, challenge yourself, or fear making mistakes. It’s impossible to be perfect, and frankly, you don’t want to be. College is meant to be a time of growth and learning, just as much as life itself. We even believe in this philosophy at Pulse!

Set firm boundaries to maintain your mental health

With so many responsibilities piled on your plate, it’s natural to put your mental health on the back burner; that’s because you get swept up in your responsibilities, deadlines, and obligations. While conducting yourself with a fierce work ethic is admirable, your mental health should never be compromised for anyone or anything. Be honest with your boundaries and accommodate them. Not everyone will work or rest at the same pace, and there is no one “right” away to go about it.

Incorporate self-care into your everyday routine

Self-care is not limited to simply “treating yourself.” It also involves getting enough sleep, eating three meals a day, practicing personal hygiene, and taking breaks when you’re overwhelmed. They’re essential to maintaining a foundation for your well-being. Without self-care, you cannot perform or function at your best. Additionally, you’re more susceptible to experiencing more stress and anxiety. Remember: the little things matter because they make you feel a thousand times better!

Efficiently organize your schedule in a visual manner

The ultimate savior that makes hustling and grinding in both class and the office bearable is a solid schedule and superior time management skills. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • When do I function at my best?
  • What is the average amount of time I spend completing work for each of my classes?
  • What are my commute times?
  • How many breaks do I genuinely need within a day?

Organizing an efficient schedule isn’t just about blocking off periods on a calendar and understanding why a certain hour of the day is more critical for productivity than another. This includes utilizing a daily to-do list!

Besides organizing your class workload, make sure you’re setting aside time dedicated to yourself and seeing loved ones. It’s easy to isolate yourself when a schedule is jam-packed with fifty or so things to do. Finishing assignments and performing well at your job is important, but so is allowing yourself to feel like a person when all is said and done.

Seek out a support system–and rely on them

As independent as you are, you can’t do everything alone–even though you want to face the world head-on. Turn to friends, family, partners, or anyone else in your life that loves you just as much as you love them. These are the people who will validate and celebrate accomplishments with you, be ready with your favorite comfort food after a terrible day, and offer you outside perspectives when you’re stuck inside your head with tunnel vision.

It’s an impressive feat to simultaneously tackle both work and university classes, but the experience doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges. But by remaining aware of your limitations and emotional well-being and being proactive with self-care–you’re setting yourself up for success!

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