Balancing School with Work – GradPlan

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Balancing School with Work

Here's how to balance working a part-time job while in school

College means freedom to choose classes, hang out with friends, and study your way. But with freedom comes responsibility – set your schedule, meet deadlines, and stay connected with family and friends. Feeling overwhelmed? Below are some helpful ideas to balance it all.

How to Balance School and Work with Your Personal Life:


Assess and Prioritize

Take a good look at all the stuff on your plate for the semester. What else besides school do you need to handle? Spend an hour jotting it down from super important to not-so-important. That way, you’ll know what’s a ‘Must Have’ and what’s just a ‘Nice-to-Have.’ Your goals should be all about what matters to you.


To Work or

Not to Work

Once you list your ‘Must Haves’ and ‘Nice-to-Haves,’ use a Cost of Living Calculator for yearly expenses. For part-time job that fit your schedule, check with your campus advisor or financial aid office. You can save more money with student discounts, buying used textbooks, and library books. Consider the pros and cons of working:


  • You have extra to cover your cost
  • You gain work experience
  • You learn time management skills


  • You have less to time to study
  • You may miss some college experiences
  • You have more priorities


Plan and Organize

With a clear destination and plan, the journey becomes smoother. Get organized by using apps like Google Calendar or Google Tasks to manage your time, schedule classes, assignments, and work. Remember to also schedule quality time with your friends and family!



Sometimes school or work may require us to miss out on some things and we can get overwhelmed with our workload. When school or work overwhelms you, remember your priorities. Here are strategies to take some pressure off:

  1. Stay connected with a quick call, text, or email to loved ones and ask for support.
  2. Set clear availability boundaries with friends and family.
  3. Share your class schedule with your work manager.
  4. Communicate issues with professors to discuss potential solutions for missed classes or assignments.


Rest and

Have Fun

Finally, prioritize self-care, rest, and enjoyment! You’re not a robot, and college is about more than just classes and work. It’s a chance to explore your interests, connect with peers, and have fun. Take breaks, attend events, and ensure you get enough sleep. You’ve got this!

Happy Planning!

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"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist