Work It: Balancing school and work is possible

Jenna Jordan, Opinion Editor

During our summer of COVID-19, many students, having far more free time, chose to get jobs. I was one of those students.

When school started back again a few weeks ago, I discovered how hard it is to manage your time between work and school. I was having a difficult time finding a healthy balance. Working over the summer and during school are two totally different ball games. In the summer, you are free all day, almost every day. Now, with school, we are busy between 8:55 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. This doesn’t even include homework, sports or other extracurricular activities.

So, the big question: is there a correct way to balance your life between work and school? In short, yes, but what may be “correct” for me may not work for everyone else.

When I say “balance”, you probably think of something that is perfectly even, split 50/50, but in this situation, that’s not the case. A “balance” of work and school life may mean limiting your work hours to 10 a week and focusing more of your time on school. It may mean that you only work on weekends. It all depends on each individual and how much else they have going on.

The best way to “balance” your life between work and school is to keep in touch with yourself. If you don’t feel like you’re leaving enough time for school work, talk to your manager about reducing your hours. They’ll likely understand. Take into consideration where your trouble areas are in your academics, and try to stay on top of those the most. If you start to feel anxious or overwhelmed, you also have the option of speaking to your employer about taking time off.

An important part of keeping a healthy balance is to not let work or school get in the way of you living your life. Keeping in touch with friends and family, and having fun with them is important too, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Separate times each week or even each day for work, school and yourself. Always remember that your well-being comes first.

Finding a way to balance work, school and other things in life is not easy. Try your best to do school work on days you don’t have a shift or sports practices. Managing your time well is a great skill and a good way to show colleges and future employers your responsibility. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do things outside of school, as long as you can manage them and they make you happy.