4 Way To Balance Work and College

By Bethany Fischer on September 3, 2021

College takes up a lot of time. Some students choose to dedicate all of their time to studying, without getting a job. However, not everyone can attend college without holding some kind of job. It can be difficult to balance work and college at the same time. If you have never worked while taking classes, this is especially true. The good news is that balancing work and college is very doable. Recent studies show that almost half of full-time students are employed while enrolled in school.

While it can be challenging to balance work and college at the same time, you can set yourself up for success. Here are 4 ways to balance work and college.

via Pixabay

Find A Job That Works With Your Schedule

A 9-5 job may not be the best type of employment to take while in college. This is because they are unlikely to work with a full-time school schedule. To successfully balance work and college, you will want to find a job that works with your schedule. There are many types of jobs that perfectly fit in a college student’s schedule, such as:

  • Waiting tables

  • Remote work

  • Freelancing

  • Pet/house/babysitting

All of these jobs have one thing in common: flexibility. Flexibility is one of the most important things to consider if you need to work while in school. Most of these jobs can be worked during after-school hours or on weekends, which is perfect for a student needing to balance work and college.

Stay Organized

It is easy to get overwhelmed when there is a lot on your plate. Staying organized is vital if you want to balance work and college at the same time. Some people are naturally organized. However, if you struggle with keeping up with all of your tasks, there are steps you can take to help.

All students should own a planner. At the beginning of every semester, print the syllabus for every class and write down your assignments. If you need extra help, try using organization apps like Google Calendar. Set reminders on your phone to go off for important school or work-related deadlines. To balance work and college, having an organizational system is a must.


To balance work and college, you have to learn how to prioritize school work and job-related tasks. Every college student should know the Eisenhower Matrix. This is an organizational tool that puts tasks into 4 categories:

  • Urgent-Important: Tasks that are both important for your life and work, and are also time-sensitive. These are the things that you need to do first, like projects and assignments that are worth a high percentage of your grade.

  • Less Urgent-Important: Tasks that are still important to your life and work, but are less time-sensitive. An example of a second quadrant task could be scheduling time to finish assigned reading for class the next day.

  • Urgent-Less Important: Tasks that are time-sensitive, but not very important to your life or work. These are tasks that you can delegate to other people. This could mean skipping an optional meeting and asking for the main points to be sent to you via email.

  • Less Urgent-Less Important: Tasks that are not time-sensitive and are not important in your life or work. This includes tasks like surfing the internet, watching TV, or playing video games.

Ask For Help When You Need It

As new adults, it is common for college students to keep their struggles hidden. They may feel that the more “grown-up” thing to do is push through while they are overwhelmed. The reality is that even adults need help now and then. It is okay to ask for assistance when you are trying to balance work and college.

Most college professors know the realities of being a student in 2021. They know that many students have to work. Talk to your professors about your job. Take advantage of their office hours if you feel like you are falling behind, and don’t be afraid to ask for an extension on an assignment if you need it. The same thing hoes for employers; be transparent about your school schedule before you accept a job. Try and avoid taking on more work than you can handle. Talk to your boss about getting time off during busy weeks like finals. The worst anyone can say to your requests is “no.”


Many students have to find a way to balance work and college. This is hard for most people when they first start, but it doesn’t have to be. Preparing for the workload is the first step in having a healthy work/school balance. Finding a flexible job, staying organized, prioritizing, and asking for help are all great ways to help balance work and college. It may not always be easy. But, with hard work, it is possible to work while getting through school.

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