Balancing Work and Study

Many students worry that taking on a part-time job may be to the detriment of their studies. It isn’t easy balancing work, studies and a social life; but the following tips and ideas may be of some help if you are thinking of taking on a part-time job this year.


General Tips:

  1. Be realistic about the number of work hours you can comfortably take on alongside your college schedule. Some modules will allow you more free time than others, but you need to remember to include time for assignments and studying too.
  2. It is essential to plan ahead – try to anticipate when your busy periods will be, both at college and at work, and then try arrange your life accordingly, so as to accommodate these times and create a balance.
  3. Be honest with your employer, don’t commit yourself to unrealistic shifts or hours that you cannot work. In fact it is advisable to start off with fewer hours and then take on more if you are able to.
  4. DO NOT miss lectures in order to work! Keep your priorities straight: your studies come first, that is what you are here for after all.
  5. Don’t forget to schedule in some down time. If you are working or studying all the time, with no time to relax, you will grow to resent both.
  6. Try to cut back on work hours during assessment (exam) time. This is a stressful period on its own, without the added pressure of having to fit work in.
  7. Remember to mention how you managed to balance work and studies when you go for job interviews. Employers will be impressed with this achievement and your demonstration of time management and organisation.

First Learn


Create a Weekly Schedule:

By creating a detailed schedule for each day, you will be able to see how you can make the best use of your time. It helps to start off with an hour-by-hour schedule which includes all your commitments i.e. classes, work, social activities, extra-mural activities, meals etc. Listing all your commitments will give you a clear idea of whether you are perhaps taking on too much, or where you can possibly cut back on certain activities.

Once you have created a list of all your commitments, you then need to organise them in terms of priority: rank each in terms of time spent and importance to you e.g. if good results are important to you, you need to schedule in extra time for studying and working on assignments earlier in your day so that you don’t put it off and risk falling behind.

It is important to stay organised, meet all your responsibilities and stick to your schedule.

Daily Schedule


Create a Monthly Schedule:

Next you need to draw up a monthly schedule, including all your assignment due dates, exams, personal events etc. This will give you an overview of what your month looks like, where your quiet and busy times are and how to schedule around them.

Monthly Schedule


Manage Your Stress Levels:

  • Make time for exercise.
  • Remember to eat – avoid junk food and limit your alcohol intake
  • Schedule in time for rest and relaxation – you need to have time that is completely free of work and studying, time to spend with your family and friends or just alone doing what you enjoy.
  • Learn to say “no” – you do not need to accept every invitation or offer of an extra shift at work


Rodriguez, D. (2010, March 17). Balancing Work and College. Retrieved from:

Work / Study Balance. (n.d.). Retrieved from: