Last week I started my first full-time job, ever. Yes, I am part of that student population that works (more than a part-time job) and studies, studies and works, and who no longer gets to sleep in on a Wednesday morning – or any weekday for that matter. At first I thought the transition was going to be easy: wake up early, come home from work and I’ll have all the time in the world to read for the two courses I am taking. I. Was. Wrong.
Tired. I am tired! I wake up early, get home by 5 and all I want to do is watch TV. It’s as if I’ve already exhausted my mental faculties and there is no fuel left for studying. And it’s so weird, time passes by so much faster when you are lying around, so before I know it, it’s time for sleep and the whole cycle starts again. I realized, there MUST be a better way, and there is.
I feel like I need to plan now. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve started to plan out my outfit the night before (as I require business attire), prepare some food for the day ahead and estimate how the weather forecast will impede my travel time to work. Yay for the real world! While the latter preparations may seem nerdy and make me seem uptight, it’s only because there are so many hours in the day and being a student feels like I have two jobs.
Another way I try to avoid feeling overwhelmed is to do homework and relax at the same time. Can there be such a thing? I found that by lying in bed I can let my heel-stressed feet loosen up while doing my much-needed reading. But, in between work and school I still try to find a moment of solitude. I also watch the tube, play with my cat, go to the gym, cook, see friends. Basically, anything that has no relation to my two biggest priorities.
Now, I’m not suggesting everyone should study and work and it will be lollipops and unicorns. I’m only in two courses, and they are in the evening. It’s a sacrifice to work and study because that means you have less time for yourself. I don’t need to take these courses –I am qualified to graduate as is –but I felt since I’m not convocating till June, why not? Before you think about getting any kind of job (full or part time) assess how well you can manage time, stress and still do well in your courses.
Work is a necessity for many students, me included. In the long term, getting better marks is just as important as earning a paycheque. So, when you do decide to work (or have no other choice) make the best decision for your schoolwork, as well.