ISIC's four tips to combine work and studies!

How to combine studies and work?

Life as a student can be hectic, the courses already have plenty of tasks; exams, lectures, group projects, and essays.. On top of this, you should be able to handle hobbies, social life, and a possible side job to earn some extra money and to gain precious work experience! How to survive from all this when it seems there just aren't enough hours in the day? Try out these tips: 

1. Time management

This may seem obvious, but to succeed in combining all these areas in your life, some sort of calendar is a necessity. When you can mark the important tasks and your shifts it’s way easier to keep up with your tasks and plan your life further. It makes life easier to see when you have a class, when you will be able to work, have time for your friends or when it’s time to relax. If the paper calendar isn’t your thing, try out your phone's agenda, google docs agenda, Miro board, or a bullet journal. When planning your days, remember to be realistic and consider what you want to prioritize. To-do lists may be a useful way to see which tasks need to be done first. 

2. Communication 

 The lectures and exams for instance usually happen to be at a certain time and there may not be that many possibilities for flexibility. However, it may be useful to discuss with your study coach, tutor, or professor if there are too many things on your plate. Communicate also with your employer when you are busier with school so they can react to this. Would it be possible to work less during the exam week? Employers are usually understanding towards students, and the more you can influence your work times, the easier it will be. Do not take extra shifts or tasks to yourself during these times, whereas during a more quiet period you can discuss this with your supervisor and possibly work more. The key is honesty in communication so the employment stays beneficial for both parties. 

3. Find creative solutions

Studies take a huge part of your life and on top of that, the work hours may take another. When are you supposed to see your friends, focus on your hobbies, and have time to chill? Try out combining the different areas in your life. If you love exercising, meet your friends for a workout, or if you love playing games, suggest playing online together. Call your sister or listen to a good podcast while doing the household chores. If your job happens to be a certain kind, where there may be quiet moments, you can ask if the employer is fine with you working in school projects when there are no things to do or if your studies are related to your work field, it may be possible to combine your school task related to your job.

4. Know your limits

Generally, the ideal amount of work hours next to your studies is  5 - 20h/week. Make sure to have at least one full day just for yourself, to do something you enjoy, simply relax, or catch up with your family or friends. Nobody will be able to work continuously with work and studies without getting exhausted. Therefore, remember to keep breaks, relax and prioritize also free time to forget all the school and work-related things. If the amount of work overburdens you, talk with your employer about reducing the work hours. Prioritizing your studies will pay off in the long run.