Hey guys! As a recent college graduate I can say i went through all the motions of college. I still remember what it was like as a freshman not knowing what to expect and being super nervous about juggling a fulltime job and attending college fulltime. I had my share of hiccups in college, I had ALOT actually but on June 6, 2017 all that came to an end and I graduated with my Bachelor of business administration in Hospitality management with concentration in hotel and restaurant management. Having gone through my college experience and challenges I thought I’d share with you all my top 3 tips to making it through college with your sanity somewhat in tact. These are things I learned along my journey and applied as I learned them. I found them super helpful and I hope you guys do too.
1. Time management
You may have seen this tip coming and that’s because it’s EXTREMELY important. Time management will be the thing that governs your life. If you fail at this, you’ll probably fail at everything else.
As a working college student you really need to have your time management skills on lock and take advantage of every free moment of your day. Whether its the time between classes for the day. I remember when I was attending classes on campus. When choosing my classes, I would try to have at least an hour break between classes so I could snack if I needed to or get some reading done or start an assignment. Also your commute between work and school was another thing to take advantage of I had an hour and a half so that was decent timing to get some home work/ reading done as well; I ended up taking a nap sometimes. But seriously don’t be like me lol be productive during those times. Your breaks at work maybe something you want to take advantage of as well; because after you leave work, you’re probably tired and no one wants to leave work and then come home to homework. I know I didn’t. When I attended college on campus I was a shift manager at McDonalds working usually 4pm/5pm to close so even though the store closed at midnight I usually didn’t leave until 12:45am and that’s on a smooth night. I literally had enough time to go home, shower and sleep. Homework was no where on my radar so it’s essential to take advantage of those free times you have throughout the day. Also starting on your term projects ahead of the due dates can make the world of difference to you especially if you have 2 or more projects due within the same time period. Some professors will note what the project will be about in the syllabus while others won’t. If the projects are listed, get started on them immediately, procrastination is your worst enemy. “Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities “- Steven Covey. Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Here’s one of my favorite planners for making my weekly schedule.
2. Choose a schedule that works for you:
Do I want to attend classes in the morning and work at night? Do I want to work in the morning and attend classes at night? Do I want to do online classes? This all depends on you! I did all 3, and you may be thinking this girl is crazy! While that may be true lol, there was a method to my madness. I tried all options and found online classes worked best for me. Some may think, hey you don’t see your classmates or professors. For me, we had weekly office hours where you could log in to your class online and video chat with your professor and all classmates who chose to attend the chat. Here’s what led to my decision to do online classes. When I worked at night and went to school in the mornings, I’d sometimes leave work super late, and be late for school the next day. 1 lateness = 1/2 absence and 3 absences resulted in you being dropped from the class. I then switched to working in the morning then going to school at night. That worked until it didn’t. It would sometimes get so busy at work, my manager would ask me to stay later, and most times I ended up staying as I felt terrible leaving in the middle of a busy hour, so this resulted in me being late for classes and that wasn’t going to work. Therefore the logical choice for me was online classes. I had the freedom to do my work on my own time and turn it in by the due date. I must say it takes ALOT of discipline to do online classes. So choose the best schedule for you and your lifestyle.
3. Be good to yourself:
I understand working fulltime and going to college fulltime can be ALOT. One of the things I wish i did was to take some time for myself to just breathe for a little bit. And you’re probably thinking, girl! I have a ton of homework to do, a job, some of you may have children or have to cater to your spouse, I get it. However the worst thing you can do to yourself is to just keep going and doing all this stuff without doing something beneficial to you/ your body. I should know, because I NEVER stopped to just take some time for myself and I often felt burned out. So at least 5 mins from your day, you can meditate, just lay down and close your eyes for a few minutes , or you can even do a 5 min work out that will leaving you feeling reenergized and refreshed. What ever you do just make sure this is YOUR time, no kids, no spouse no phone calls/texts NOBODY around. This can make a world of difference to a busy person. There are 2 YouTube channels I go to for those quick intense work outs and I’ll link 2 of my favorite videos from those channels below.
These are my top 3 tips to mastering college and working fulltime. I hope you found at least 1 tip helpful. Best of luck on your college journey. You got this! “Believe in yourself and you’re halfway there ” Theodore Roosevelt.