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Working During College?

How can I work during college while also keeping up with my studies

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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Nevaeh !

Working while attending college will come naturally to you, it's just a matter of not conflicting your work schedule with your class schedule. It also depends on what you will major in because many majors require lab hours (not just for sciences) and work outside of class. Once you secure your class schedule, you can apply for a job with a flexible schedule either one that is on site or remote online.

One thing that I think might help you and is a real solution for this, at least it was when I was in college, is to apply for Work Study on the Federal Student Financial Aid Application. Work Study is a job that you choose on campus so it is real easy to work around your class schedule and there's no commute. You'll be on campus all day.

Once you've applied and received a Work Study allotment, go to any department or place on campus and let them know that you have work study and would like to know what jobs are available. Do this as soon as you get your acceptance letter about Work Study because you will want to pick a job when all the good positions are still available. The best thing to do is to first check at your major department as this will give you great experience working in your major study field. So remember that you should check off "Work Study" on your financial aid application. To learn more about it in detail visit any college campus Financial Aid office.

Another simple answer to this is to only apply for jobs that work with your school schedule. Try not to take on a work schedule that will cause you to miss a class or not go to school one day. Something that you may look into are remote jobs on line. Register at Linked In and Indeed and set notifications for Remote and On Line jobs. There's usually a lot to choose from, but set notifications for work that you like doing. Some of the notices do mention that you can choose your own hours.

For decades, people have gone to school at the same time as worked and although it is an adjustment, most people like doing that. Everyone is different in their study habits, priorities and what they are able to sacrifice once in college and you should review these traits in yourself and see where adjustments will have to be made. So as far as studying your class work, that will be a personal arrangement that you decide on for the best way to accomplish it.

Best wishes to you and I hope that this was helpful !
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Paul’s Answer

I have seen students do it, and they were successful with their academics, and went on to graduate.

But, all of those who did, never worked full time. They all worked part time and hourly jobs.

Full time jobs are just too much of a balancing act. Plus, private sector managers do not seem to understand the college academic schedules.

The part time schedules seemed to work better. Especially, if the job was an on campus position, which staff were participants and contributers in the education
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Rafael’s Answer

Balancing work and studies during college can be challenging, but with effective time management and prioritization, it is possible to succeed. I recommend creating a schedule that includes dedicated time for classes, studying, and work, and communicate your availability to your employer and professors. Look for flexible job opportunities that can accommodate your class schedule, and optimize your study time by minimizing distractions and utilizing campus resources. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is also crucial for maintaining productivity. Remember to be flexible, adapt as needed, and seek support when necessary.
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guido’s Answer

Jim, despite the hurdles, particularly as a full-time student, you can definitely achieve this. Mastering time management will be your secret weapon in excelling in both areas. Remember not to stretch yourself too thin and always carve out some time for enjoyable activities in your schedule. Rooting for your success!
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Jim’s Answer

Hello Nevaeh!

I worked part time jobs as an undergrad and a full time job while attending graduate school. It definitely can be done, but requires good time management. You will need to ensure your work and class schedules don't overlap, plus you will need to build in time to commute. It is a sacrifice, but totally worth it. I would suggest you let your employer know that you will also be attending school to ensure they can be flexible with your schedule.

Best of luck to you!
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Devynne’s Answer

Hello Nevaeh,

Firstly, it's important to identify your reasons for wanting to work while studying. Some students work to cover their tuition costs, while others might need extra cash for personal expenses or academic materials. When you apply for financial aid, you often get the chance to opt for work-study programs. These are excellent opportunities because they're usually on campus and your employer understands that you're a student, so they won't overburden you. Plus, you'll have a fixed amount of money to earn throughout the semester, so it's a good exercise in managing your time and resources.

Jobs like residence assistance are also available, where you basically sit at the dorm's front desk, signing people in. This kind of job, requiring only a few hours a week, can double as study time.

If you're considering off-campus jobs, start by examining your class schedule and pinpointing your free periods. Remember to reserve time for assignments and for enjoying the "college experience", which many consider to be the best time of their lives. Many part-time jobs are flexible and will adjust to your academic commitments.

During your job interview, be sure to mention that you're a student to ensure your work schedule won't clash with your studies. You might need to attend several interviews before finding an understanding employer. Always remember to stand up for yourself and keep your primary goal in mind - you're there primarily for your education.
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Laura’s Answer

Hello Nevaeh,
Great question! Maintaining a job while attending can be a challenge at times, but is definitely possible if you want it to be; it just requires planning and strategy for when you have classes, when your shift starts at a job, and the travel time it takes from your college classes or dorm to where you work.

My best advice is to look at places (stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc.) around your college and research/Google the ones you are interested in working at to see if there are any open positions. Next, out of those places you picked, look to see if they have part-time shifts available; this way it will be a little easier to work into your schedule with your classes and having a job. Another tip I will let you know is if you live in a college town area, there might be a bunch of small businesses that are looking for people for job opportunities and are willing to hire college students to have part-time workers; it is something worth looking into if you live in an area like that for college.

For example, I live close to Kutztown University, and the town of Kutztown, PA, is an example of what I mean by a college town. Walking through town up and down Main Street, there are a bunch of small business shops and restaurants that I'm positive some college students take advantage of as it is within walking distance from the actual university to where the stores/restaurants are located.

If you find a place where you want to work but are not certain if they have any part-time opportunities available, ask during the interview process. Be upfront with them by letting them know you are a college student who would like to be part-time as you have classes to attend.

I hope this helps you find a job while in college, and I wish you the best of luck!

-Laura Mills
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Zachariah’s Answer

Hello Nevaeh,

Always have your studies at first, because your studies will help you more than any other things in the life , however if you find any easiest part time job for just to works for 2 to 3 hrs. that would be fine, again ensure that the part time job will not disturb your studies at any cost, very simple advice from my side.

Regards,
Zachariah
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Jerome’s Answer

Agreed with others, trying to do part time while going to school (if possible) is workable. Trying to work full time while also going to school full time might be challenging. I ended up taking a little longer to get my associates degree, but in the end, nobody asked how long it took to get the degree, just asked if I had one.

Pace yourself, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
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Melissa’s Answer

Going to school while working can be challenging, as you want to do well in both school and your career. I am going through this right now. I make sure to set aside at least an hour each day to work on my studies and more if I am able. I also set time aside on the weekend. This helps me to keep up with my goals for both my schoolwork and career.
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Alexandra’s Answer

Balancing work and school can be a challenge, but with a well-structured schedule, you can manage it effectively. Remember, your education is your top priority, so ensure your job doesn't overshadow your studies. If it does, it might be wise to reduce your working hours. Consider jobs like virtual assistance that offer more flexibility, allowing you to set your own hours and workload. Most importantly, take care of your mental wellbeing. Don't overburden yourself. If you feel stressed or need a break, don't hesitate to take some time off work. You've got this!
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Chris’s Answer

Hello Nevaeh,

You've already received some fantastic advice on how to juggle work and college, and I'd love to contribute a few more insights.

The strategy you adopt can be influenced by various factors, such as your work commitments, the type of institution you're considering, and the degree you're pursuing, be it a 2-year, 4-year, or graduate degree. I personally had to work full time while earning my degree, so I opted to begin at a community college. These colleges are excellent because they often accommodate working students by offering evening classes. Plus, they're generally more affordable. Later, I moved to a 4-year university, by which time I was able to switch to a job with a more flexible schedule that allowed me to attend daytime classes.

Others have already provided some excellent advice about finding a flexible job to help with class scheduling. I'd like to add that there are also flexible educational options available these days, such as fully online schools. Studying online provides greater flexibility in managing your schedule and saves you commuting time. This might be a worthwhile option to explore, depending on your field of study.

If you're working substantial hours while attending school, it's important to manage your expectations. It might take you longer to earn your degree due to potential scheduling conflicts with your work or because you might not be able to take as many classes each year. However, remember that you're working towards a career that will span the next 30-40 years of your life, so taking an extra year or two (or three!) to complete your degree is a minor detail in the grand scheme of things. Be realistic about your capabilities and don't feel discouraged if it takes you a bit longer to reach your goal. You might have to make some sacrifices that your non-working peers won't have to, and your leisure time might be more limited. But stay focused on your long-term goal - this is a marathon, not a sprint. When you finally earn your degree, you'll realize that the sacrifices were well worth it.

Best of luck on your journey!
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Thomas’s Answer

I would very much suggest that you go for an on campus job. Legally, you can work for a max of 25 hours a week as a student. However, I've found (at least at my school) that on campus jobs are a lot more forgiving than a job off campus. If you have to go to a required lecture or something for your major, on campus jobs are more than often understanding. You might not get the same with an off campus job. Secondly, on campus jobs make it easier to and less stressful if you need to as a question after class but you have work right away. Again, supervisors for on campus jobs tend to be a lot more understanding if you message them or email them as you are leaving explaining why you will be late.

For my experience, both my professors (of course) and my supervisor have said that school comes first. If I need time to go have a meeting with a professor, go to a required lecture or performance (I'm a music major), or leave early for an altered schedule or added class I get the excuse.

I would finally, also suggest that you should go for an on campus job in your area of study. If you are studying STEM, wait a year and apply to be a TA or apply for work study. If you study music, work at the music hall during performances. If you can't find an exact match for your major, try to find the next best thing. Look for something that won't just be a way to make money but also a way to LEARN on the job. College is your opportunity to find exactly what you want to do in your chosen discipline, but it's also a way to find the stuff you DON'T want to do.

Just as an example, I worked as an AudioVisual technician at the union at my school. I set up audio equipment and did sound for events. It is through that job that I saw doing live sound and audiovisual things as a hobby and that I wanted to focus on writing and producing music for artists. I know this is a very exact example, but I want to show that you have to go into college thinking about the future- and use everything you learn in college (or as much as you can) to shape your future.

Hope this helps!
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Sheila’s Answer

If you're a student in a traditional classroom setting, I would suggest dedicating your weekends for work, or perhaps considering a college work-study program. This strategy will provide you with ample time to concentrate on your coursework during the weekdays, and allocate time for studying before or after your part-time job. Online learning is also a great option, but it requires a disciplined approach in managing your time and effort. I can share from personal experience that it's never too late to pursue further education. At the age of 45, I returned to school while working a full-time job and successfully earned my Bachelor's degree within four years. If given the chance to do it all over again, I wouldn't alter a single thing. I hope my experience can guide you in some way. Here's to your success!
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