Tips for achieving school/work balance

It’s the never-ending dilemma that countless students face every year: Should I work while I’m in school? How can I balance it all?

The reality is that most students cannot go to school without working at the same time, and if that includes you this semester, here are a few tips to remember while navigating it all.

Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead

Planners, calendars and productivity apps are your friends. Mapping out your week, writing reminders, and utilizing mobile apps can make it feel less stressful to organize and remember what you have completed and what you still need to do each week. It also lessens your chance of forgetting an assignment or a study session once you’re off work.

Reconsider Your Hours

At the beginning of every semester, consider asking yourself where your priorities are in terms of work versus school, and if you should ask your boss or manager to lower your weekly hours. The likelihood of overwhelming yourself is high if you’re working a full-time week on top of school’s demands. UMKC’s Atterbury Student Success Center offers a variety of workshops to help prepare you for different challenges, such as the “Developing Time Management Skills” and “Creating a Study Plan.”

Take Advantage of School Resources

Workshops, math and science tutoring, the Writing Studio and supplemental instruction are all offered at the Atterbury Student Success Center. Supplemental instruction is small-group studying offered for students taking courses that are historically challenging.

Regularly attending your professor’s office hours can also help you stay on top of what you’re learning, as well as foster a relationship with your professor. UMKC’s Summer Bridge program offers first-year students a chance to gain a mentor and look for guidance when adjusting to college life, which can be especially beneficial for new students who work.

The Peer Academic Leadership program is another mentorship program for any student who desires a relationship with a fellow student who can help lead them on the path to success, both inside and outside of classes.

Consider Online Courses

Online courses are not for everyone, and most people will agree that in-person courses can be more fulfilling. But the wide offering of online courses at UMKC means that students can complete credit hours without worrying about making it to class every day. Most online courses are asynchronous,  meaning they can be completed at your own pace within the calendar due dates set by each professor.

Streamline Your Tasks

Work smarter, not harder. Planning your classes to best fit your habits and needs, such as picking early classes if you’re an early riser, or only working on the weekend to give yourself time for homework, can be the best way to plan for success. Everyone has unique learning styles and approaches, so figure out what kind of work and class schedule best suits you.

Do you like to stay holed-up in the library until late at night? Or is it better to study in between classes during the day? Streamlining your study hours to fit your study style can make it easier to get work done.

hnp7gh@mail.umkc.edu

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