While being a student itself is hectic, being a working student makes life even more tedious.
Many people find themselves struggling to balance work and school simultaneously owing to
excessive pressure and time crunch. When you work either part-time or full-time while
simultaneously pursuing your education, you might feel your life is off balance.
Among the 23 countries participating in the 2012 Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), 39% of students identified themselves as working.
It shows the modern culture of working part-time or even full-time while continuing studies. Apart from the contemporary work culture, the growing financial needs of society also motivate students to work. And it is not only the student who require jobs, but people who are already working for years and might also feel the need to go back to school due to the demand of their careers. In such scenarios, it becomes a challenge to balance work and study.
How can students improve their work-life balance?
Now, one main question that might come to your mind is why a student would need money
so desperately that he/she is ready to sacrifice his/her mental peace. The answer to this
question lies within the individual needs of a person. For some people, money is the main
priority since the educational system is pretty expensive to afford. For others, working helps
them to stay independent. Besides that, many people decide to go back to studying for
Since many people prefer to be financially individual, taking part-time jobs while studying is
a common practice. Many students find job roles like a private tutor, babysitter,
waiter/waitress, managing accounts, and similar jobs to earn independently without
disturbing their schedule. However, for people who are working full-time, it is difficult to
find work-life balance.
Why is life balance important for working students?
After looking at the present-day competitive workforce, it is safe to say that marinating
work-life balance is quite difficult for anyone. Many people feel conflicted between their
duties as a student and an employee because these fields have different needs and people
need to stay updated. And on top of that, when you are managing courses works, exam
deadlines, and office pressure, it is not unnatural to feel overwhelmed at times.
Life-balance tips could be helpful for anyone working or not because often people struggle to
balance their personal and social life. Indeed, money is very important but taking care of
personal needs is equally important. When people start working, finding proper ways to take
care of their unique needs becomes even more difficult.
Medical research shows that people who have poor work-life balance are prone to various
physical and mental health problems. Anxiety and depression are quite common among these
people. Apart from that, physical health-related issues such as stroke, coronary diseases, and
even heart problems are more common among people who fail to balance work-life.
Importance of Balancing Social Life and Academics
Poor work-life balance has many negative consequences because there are high chances of
burnout when your social life is non-existence. There is an old proverb that “All work and no
play make Jack a dull boy” it certainly applies to this scenario since it implies that without
any personal life or fun, work-life is nothing but misery. Humans need to have some sort of
entertainment in order to be more productive. Thus, even when a person is working full-time,
it is very important to have a decent social life as well.
The educational system can sometimes be overwhelming due to the pressure of a compact
curriculum, tight deadlines, and sometimes complicated assignments. On top of that, when
you are working, the time crunch makes things even more problematic. For students, life-
balance tips are most helpful when they are working.
Thus, it is crucial to find a way to balance those tricky assignments while staying financially
independent. Here are a few tips and tricks to stay mentally and physically healthy while
maintaining a work-life balance.
1. Set a Schedule
If you are struggling to balance work and school, the first step is to take small steps toward
being more organized. And to be more organized, what can be better than making a schedule?
One major issue that comes with working and studying at the same time is because of a lack
of organization. Since working students have limited time to manage academics and work,
they feel they are running out of time.
You need to remember that there are 24 precious hours in a day and if you minus 10 hours for necessary eat-sleep and shower from that, you still have 14 hours to plan your studies and work and even leave some time for fun activities.
Setting a schedule can save you from being overwhelmed since you will have a clear idea
about your day. Most of the time, people who are struggling to balance work and school feel
out of control, but making a schedule and adjusting everything based on that can give you a
sense of control.
Everyone in the world has different choices, different goals, and different approaches. Before
doing anything, it is very important to take a pause and reflect on individual needs to find out
priorities. Not everyone has the exact same priorities, and the work-life balance of working
students starts with setting priorities.
When you are aware of your priorities, you can divide your time based on those priorities.
For example, if you are young and still in school and your first priority is studying, you can
opt for jobs with small working hours. This way, your work-life balance would be maintained
without much of a hassle.
3. Do Not Procrastinate
Remember, procrastination can be your worst enemy. When you are struggling to balance
work and school, wasting time can make things only harder for you. One of the best habits
for better work-life balance would be to learn to use time effectively.
Procrastination means wasting the precious time that you have in your hands and making
yourself suffer the consequences. When you are struggling to balance work and school, you need to value every minute. Valuing time does not mean you will not have any fun. Rather, you can have more fun when you complete your responsibilities on time. Maintaining a work-life balance can be difficult if you fail to use your schedule effectively.
When you procrastinate, it forces you to break your schedule, and you will be back to where you started. Surely your schedule can have some flexibility but use that flexibility wisely when you already have a time scrunch.
4. Understand Your Capabilities and Limits
There are many occasions when people either underestimate or overestimate their
capabilities. People need to be aware of their own capabilities and believe in themselves.
Work-life balance is difficult when juggling your responsibilities, but having faith in your
capabilities can act as moral support. They help you to boost your self-confidence.
Being confident when you are a working student is very important because you have many
responsibilities to handle. You need to know your strengths are weaknesses. Knowing your
weaknesses is equally important since this way, you can channel them for your own good. Or,
you can refrain from those things as well. On the other hand, you can always use your
strengths to maintain work-life balance by making informed decisions.
Knowing your limitations is very important if you struggle to balance work and school. You
need to know when to stop. Some things might be great for others, but this does not mean
they will be great for you too. Understand your limitations to avoid burnout.
5. Communication is the Key
A lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings and this added stress is something
that you do not want when struggling to balance work and school. Communicate clearly
about your needs. Suppressing your desires can only lead to pent-up frustration, and this can
seriously disrupt your work-life balance. If you know the importance of balancing work and
play as a student, you communicate to yourself as well. Ignoring your problems will not solve
them. Rather, try to face them and solve them before moving on if it helps to keep your mind
calm and free from unnecessary thoughts.
6. Flex that Flexibility
Flexibility is your best friend when you are managing work and school. Work-life balance
comes from managing time effectively, and thus you are responsible for slotting your work
and studies. There are many schools, colleges, and universities that offer flexible study
If you are already working, you can choose a flexible schedule for yourself so that
it does not clash with your existing work schedule. On the other hand, if you are a full-time
student, you can choose a flexible job that will allow you ample time for your studies. This
way, you can save some time for yourself while not hampering your work-life balance.
7. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries in both personal and professional life is a very important step in maintaining work-life balance. Yes, you can definitely be an adaptable person while having your own boundaries. Also, it is very important to be firm. Being firm does not mean being rigid or rude, it simply means sticking with your own values.
To ensure that you have a good work-life balance, first, you have to separate work from life
in some ways. When your personal and professional life entirely mixes up, you might find it
difficult to find a sense of balance. Thus, there are some things that you need to keep private.
You can be a very adaptable person while firmly sticking with your own values and morals.
When you set your boundaries, you will automatically know your limits and never be afraid
of standing up for them.
8. Trust Your Intuitions
While on a journey to find work-life balance, it is essential to trust your gut feelings. There
are times when you might feel that you need to take or let go of an opportunity for the sake of your mental health, and you should not ignore these calls.
Remember, you understand yourself better than anyone else, and when your mind or heart is trying to send you a signal, you should not neglect it. Every person has their natural flow, and your intuitions are crucial parts of that natural flow. When you feel struggling, the best way to balance is to follow the natural flow and let things happen at their own pace.
9. Ask for Help
Often, people feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness, but do you know that it can be
your biggest strength to know when you should ask for help? Not asking for help when you
need it the most can make things worse. There are many forms of help that you can get from
family, friends, or from professionals.
When you are struggling to balance work and school, you can always ask for help from professionals to help you with your studies. Also, if you require help in your workspace, ask your colleagues or supervisors. Keep in mind that asking for help does not make you a weak person. Rather, it shows you are eager to give your best.
10. Take a Break
Not knowing when to take a break is one of the main hindrances in the way of work-life
balance for working students. Taking a break works like a “comma” in a sentence. It is very
much necessary, and without it, the whole sentence does not make any sense or can be
Using a “comma” also makes a sentence stretch longer. However, a “comma”
does not mean stopping. Instead, it means taking a break at the right time. In life, taking a
break works just like this. If you do not put a “comma” when life needs it the most, the rest of
it will not make any sense. You will struggle to find balance. Taking a break is very
important to increase productivity and stretch your work-life balance.
Here are some best ways you can revitalize yourself:
- Indulge in your hobbies
- Plan a trip
- Watch a movie
- Spend time with your friends and family
- Spend time with yourself
- Give yourself a day and do whatever you want, even if it means doing nothing.
Remember, it is okay to unwind the way you want.
- Stay away from toxic productivity.
11. Be Gentle with Yourself
There are times when people feel the urgent need to do things instantly. You might think that
everyone around you is growing while you are stuck somewhere. In those times, people force
themselves to meet the pace of others, and in this process, they end up losing their own work-
A poor work-life balance is caused by such negative completions. If you
compare yourself with someone who is of your age and already earning more than you, you
will push yourself to cross your boundaries. While this can go positively, there are high
chances of this going out of hand.
If you look at the old proverbs, you will notice there are many contradictions. For example,
while one proverb says, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today, another one
would note, “Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it.”
You are the one who can choose the right approach to your own life. In order to find a good balance between working life and academics, you need to know when you should stop and act upon your priorities. Learn the difference between positive and negative competition so that you can choose. Thus, be gentle with yourself and do not be too harsh when it comes to managing time. Learn more about yourself and stay focused.
12. Take Care of Yourself
Finally, the main step is to take good care of yourself. When you are struggling to balance
work and school, you might go too hard on yourself, and this can affect your mind and body
negatively. You are responsible for keeping your mind and body healthy enough to keep
You can take care of yourself in several ways, starting from taking care of your physical
health. Remember that health is your most prized wealth. If you are not healthy, you cannot
focus on anything. Thus, eating and sleeping properly while fulfilling your responsibilities is
very important. Lacking sleep or nutrition is not the best thing for any working student. To
keep up with your busy schedule, you need to give your body proper fuel and rest.
At the same time, take care of your mental health and do not hesitate to ask for help when needed.
Finding life balance as a working student is never easy, but it is not impossible either. It is
normal to struggle with work-life balance, but the main problem is when you are not doing
the things you can to resolve it. Developing some habits for better work-life balance can
definitely solve your worries to some extent. Remember, time could be your best friend or the
worst enemy, so make friends with time to use it effectively!