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Finding a Balance Between Work and School

By Andrew Smith

Most college students often feel they are moving at a 65 mph pace in a 40 mph speed zone. They go from class to an extracurricular activity, to work and repeat this process almost five times a week, continuing into the weekend. They ask themselves, “How can I complete this internship and maintain a job at the same time while managing a full course load as well?”

This can be stressful but there are several ways to make this demanding schedule into a simple routine.

The first lesson I learned from juggling multiple responsibilities was maintaining a schedule and routine. Yes, a schedule can make you feel trapped in a repetitive cycle, but structure is vital to success.

Junior marketing and biology major Katherine Reinhard also expressed the importance of keeping a schedule.

Katherine Reinhard pictured at her lifeguard job stressed the importance of keeping a schedule to not fall behind on her responsibilities. Photo provided by Katherine Reinhard

“Having a physical written copy of the assignments you need to complete, upcoming tests and projects and meetings you may have not only holds you accountable but also allows you to ensure nothing is overlooked,” she said.

Due to the ease of technology, students rely on their phones, computers or tablets to create calendar reminders. However, some students may find it easier to have an old-fashioned calendar tacked to the wall with written reminders.

I currently have two jobs; one on campus during the weekdays in the Communications and Marketing Office and a job closer to home on the weekends. I like creating what’s almost a weekly baseline to keep myself organized and less stressed. By planning your day, you will realize you have more time on your hands. Using your time wisely is critical to college success and time efficiency will help students reach their greatest potential.

Senior sport management major and business minor Christopher Velaoras stressed how keeping a weekly planner helps his own routine.

“I definitely recommend that students write out an outline schedule for the week in a planner on Sunday night,” he said. “You know you have some assignments or tests that will remain consistent as well as days you may have to work that week, so ensure you work your other responsibilities around those times.”

Christopher Velaoras, who serves as a basketball referee, keeps himself motivated by focusing on the future and his career goals. Photo provided by Christopher Velaoras

Another little trick I found very helpful was to keep Post-it notes handy. Little things often come up throughout your day on campus that are important, but they might slip your mind. Our workloads are overwhelming, and as a result, we are often preoccupied, which can cause us to forget the small details. For tech-savvy students, written Post-it notes may not be ideal. I suggest sending yourself a quick email to remind you of an upcoming assignment or deadline.

Junior psychology major Jessica Diaz said, “My suggestions for college students juggling school and work would include knowing your limits, making reminders and setting boundaries. It's easy to want to do everything under the sun, but it's eventually more beneficial to acknowledge your responsibilities and the weight they hold so that your goals, whether academic, career-related or personal, are met.”

Another factor to consider is burnout. College students can become overwhelmed and buried with work, especially around midterms and finals. For some students, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is difficult. They need to find ways to refocus and see the potential rewards for their hard work.

Keeping up with work deadlines and assignments is essential, but remember to enjoy the moment as an Adelphi Panther. Find time to call your friends after work or meet up with them after class. Give yourself something meaningful to look forward to that will fill your soul and heart.

Velaoras said, “I also believe in ensuring you take care of yourself personally; get enough rest, get a good workout in, go spend some time with family and friends.”

Reinhard, who works for Skudin Swim as a lifeguard, emphasized, “The motivating force behind me during these stressful times is the idea that where I am now is preparing me for my future. The completed tests, projects and assignments are all small steps toward my goals.”

“Knowing my family and friends genuinely feel pride and excitement when I achieve a goal or accomplishment is one of my biggest motivators and only inspires me to continue forward,” Diaz said. “Keep in mind, above all, school always comes first, right after your well-being, that is.”

Velaoras works as a referee for high school basketball, the National Junior College Association (JUCO) and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA).

“The motivating force behind me during these stressful times in college has to be truly what career I am striving for,” he said. “I have so much passion toward my goals that it drives me to go all in.”

If students feel they have a purpose, they will be more driven to achieve their goals. With the right frame of mind, you will be able to find that extra drive to keep you motivated even when you feel like giving up.

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