In a perfect world, everyone will have money for college. Everyone can finance their dreams. They can pursue a bachelor’s degree without needing to apply for scholarships or work a full-time job at the same time. But alas, those are dreams. It’s more likely for people to win the lottery than for everyone to afford to pursue their dreams. Fortunately, we are more resourceful than we give ourselves credit for. We apply for scholarships, and we work in a full-time status while also learning in a night school.
But the stress to fulfill these two dreams often pushes people out of their rhythm. Many decided to leave their night classes in favor of working in a company that offers stable compensation. Whatever your reasons are for needing to study and work simultaneously, it always has to do with finances.
There are ways you can still pursue your dreams of finishing college without having to leave your stable employment. You can still juggle these two things—earn and learn—and not have to choose between the two. Here’s what you need to know:
Find the Right Program
Remember that this is the 21st century, and many organizations found a way to help people who want to earn and learn at the same time. Look for workplace training programs where you can work and finish a nationally recognized diploma at the same time. Through these programs, you will receive hands-on training while also learning from qualified lecturers. The program will integrate work and lectures, so you can pursue your studies while working.
Students under this program receive a full-timer’s salary and other regular employee benefits. It’s a way to accommodate full-time workers who also want to upgrade their skills. It’s the perfect balance between earning and learning.
Create a Timetable
Make a habit of creating a weekly plan for you. What do you need to accomplish for this week? What are the tasks assigned to you, and how can you fulfill those tasks? A detailed timetable can be a difference-maker in your life as a student/employee. Make sure to follow what you set out to do for the week, or you will end up with more tasks the next week and the next. It’s a cycle. No matter how you try to neglect some mundane tasks, it will make things harder for you.
Make Use of Your Weekend
Wouldn’t you love to rest on the weekends? Yes, some degree of rest is needed for you to function during the week ahead but remember that you are juggling two critical things in your life. Maybe set aside the fun activities until you are done with your tasks? This is why it’s important to follow your timetable. You need time to rest, but if you don’t do what you’re set to do every day, you’ll have to make use of your weekends.
Set a Place for Work and Study
Part of working and studying efficiently is also having the place to do that. It can be a small corner of your house. It can be an extra room. Do with it whatever you need to do to work and study comfortably. If you want to decorate it, go ahead. If you feel that a bare room works better for you, live with it no matter how others feel about how weird it is.
Be Realistic About What You Can Take On
As much as your work-study program is great, some things are just impossible. You have to learn to live with it. You want to finish your degree in four years while also maintaining a full-time job. There is no rule that a degree earned in six years is substandard to a degree earned in four. You have to embrace the fact that some things are not realistic for you to do. Don’t burn yourself out. Take what you can do and learn the value of patience.
Take Care of Your Health
It’s easy to take your health for granted. After all, you are young and able. There’s no better time to push yourself to the limit than today. But young and able people find themselves in a health crisis, too. Physical and mental burnout have as much place in your life than in the life of a 40-something parent with three kids to send to college. So, take time to rest and exercise even for 30 minutes each morning. It will do you good.
It is not impossible to juggle work and school, but you have to do it with great tact and mindfulness. Nothing good will come out of rushing things for your success. You have to deal with things slowly and purposefully. You have to plan for it and stick to the plan even if things get a little bumpy.