Balancing work & school

Allison Yoder, MVC Staff Wrtier

What comes to mind when thinking about high school in movies? It might be football games, school dances, or maybe extracurricular activities. What does not often come to mind though is the number of students who have to go to school for eight hours a day and then immediately go to an after school job for another five or more hours, and that is just weekdays.

Personally, not working while still in school was never an option. As soon as I turned sixteen during my sophomore year, I found a job. A normal schedule for me is working around twelve hours during the week, and anywhere from another twelve to seventeen hours total on the weekends. While this was hard to balance with school when I first started over two years ago, it has gotten easier since I have learned a few things over time.

  1. Learn your limits: This sounds very straightforward, but it is important to know what you can and cannot handle. For example, I am able to work over twenty hours a week and still focus on school. However, some people can only work twelve hours per week and still have the capacity to do their best with school. It takes some trial and error, but knowing these personal limits is extremely helpful.
  2. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize: I will be the first one to admit, I love just sitting and scrolling through Instagram, but it is important to figure out what is the most important thing you have to do. Everyone’s priorities differ, and it is crucial to know how to plan out your schedule so that number one item on your list gets done.
  3. Work smart, not hard: It is so easy to put off an assignment or a project until the night before, trust me, I have been in that boat more than my fair share of times. If you know you have a day off weeks before the due date, then do the assignment then. That way, it is done, and is one less thing to worry about.

Of course, this is all just my experience, and some of these ideas may not work for everyone, but it is worth a shot. Though this is meant to help students who have steady jobs and work during the school year, these tips can also help students who are dedicated to busy after school activities or sports.

Keep on working hard, it will pay off in the end.