The reality of being a full-time student and employee


Photo Credit: Nina Ortega

Students need to maintain a healthy school, work, and life balance to succeed.

Nina Ortega, Staff Writer

    In life, one of the hardest things to manage is time. Being a full-time student can be stressful, and expensive. The cost of college is rising faster than independent and family income, leaving students who do not have ample funds very few options, with the majority being to find work.

   The average annual cost of attendance at a community college is around $10,000 and a 4-year college is around $25,000, which is ridiculous. A degree is something that in today’s day is considered a necessity. Life is competitive, and many would agree that having a degree would put you ahead of someone who doesn’t. If this is something people NEED, why is it so expensive?

   Having to pay for college out of pocket is hard. Not only is school stressful itself, but having to pay for it as you go is another challenge on your plate. Work and school are time consuming, and factoring in personal time can feel like there is no time for it.

   According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2018, 63% of full-time students also worked full-time. Working is a reality for the majority of college students and being able to find time outside of work or school can feel impossible. But again, this is the reality of it, and being able to create and maintain a balance between school, work, and life is what is essential to succeed and sustain a healthy mind.

 Here are some ways that have helped students balance school, work, and life. First, set priorities and plan ahead. Being able to dictate what is most important to you is crucial in becoming successful at balancing school, work, and life. Regardless of what your priority may be, setting a schedule that works for you and sticking to it will keep you organized, productive, and accountable. Mapping out your homework and work schedule in a planner is a way to maximize your time. Setting goals for yourself whether it be for the day, week, or month is another way to keep you motivated.

   Secondly, set boundaries. To have a healthy balance it is important to keep your work, school, and life separate from each other. Don’t let work or school interfere with personal time. This will help train your brain to work when it’s work time, focus on school when it’s school time, and relax when it’s personal time. It’s important to separate the three to allow you to work hard, and have quality time. Setting boundaries comes back to planning ahead and using your time effectively.

    Next, communicate and ask for help. Communicating with your teachers, employers, coworkers, friends, and loved ones about your busy schedule can contribute to lifting a weight off your shoulders. Being transparent about your situation can bring perspective and give help you didn’t know you needed. Maintaining employment and going to school can be draining and having a support system can relieve the added stress. Building a support system can be beneficial to the success of balancing school, work, and life, and they may be able to offer additional support.

   Lastly, take a break. You deserve it. Juggling school, life, and your own personal life is a lot and can cause burnout. Even if it is just a  few hours a day, it is healthy to give your brain a break. Giving your brain and body rest will also help to improve your mood. The impact of not being able to maintain a good work, school, and life balance can result in you sacrificing your personal well-being. Focusing too hard on one specific responsibility can open up negative consequences leading you to feel like you are struggling. The idea of perfection is what holds lots of people in this situation back. Though it’s great to strive for the best, be kind to yourself. Remember you’re not always going to get straight A’s or the promotion at work. The most important thing is to remember to stay healthy and don’t forget to put your well-being first. Focus on your goals and remember you can do it all.