Study and Work: How to Balance a Full-time Job and Academic Life

The idea of studying and working at the same time may seem an impossible feat for most people. Even the idea of being a full-time student can be challenging with all the demands of coursework.

The good news is, academic institutions are now offering alternative learning paths for those who want to study while working. In Singapore, a work-study diploma program allows students to continue upskilling themselves while enjoying a stable income and employee benefits.

Although working and studying simultaneously requires a lot of commitment, there’s always a way to work it out. With that in mind, here are ways to balance your full-time job and student life.

Pick a School With Flexible Programs

The university and course program you choose can affect the quality of your performance both at work and in school. This means it’s easy to pull off both your work and studies if the schedule and structure of your classes match your work hours.

You may want to consider signing up for an online degree, so you don’t have to travel in between work and school. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many academic institutions have embraced distance learning for students who can’t come to school physically. You can attend lectures, submit assignments, and take exams on one online platform. The great thing about online degrees is most of the classes are flexible and asynchronous, which means you can access the lectures and materials anytime and anywhere you want.

Inform Your Employer You’re Studying

Believe it or not, employers are willing to give more consideration to their staff who are working and studying at the same time. Some would even offer educational assistance benefits to support your studies. In most cases, telling your boss you’re currently enrolled at a university can be a win-win situation for both parties. First, if you’re taking a program related to your job or industry, this will let the employer know how you’re eager to develop your knowledge and skills, which adds more value to the company you’re working for.

A great tip is to check if your company has study policies. You can also speak with your manager to find out how they can support you. You may consider discussing changes to work schedule, flexible work arrangements (e.g., work from home), and ensuring work projects won’t affect study deadlines.

The best part is your manager and coworkers will go easier on you when they know you’re juggling work and study. They won’t force you to do overtime work, and you can easily ask your coworkers to cover up for you if you have a test coming up.

man taking a break

Set Aside Time for Regular Breaks

Taking regular breaks may seem a tall order for those working and studying at the same time. Some even consider if it’s possible to stay fresh and focused when at work and school.

In any endeavor, there will be some days when you’re tired or in a bad mood to work or study. There will even be moments when you want to give up the job or your studies. Whether you’re a full-time or part-time student, these feelings will often come by.

The best you can do is to set aside time for regular breaks now and then. Juggling both school and work is already a big feat, so give yourself a favor by allowing yourself to relax. A break isn’t just about resting, but studies show it has significant benefits for health and well-being. Taking breaks helps you recover from stress, improve your performance, restore energy and mental resources, and decrease the risk of heart disease, sleep disorders, and fatigue.

Make Friends in Your Class

Having friends on your course can help you find real buddies in case you miss something in class because of work. Get to know other students and make sure you have at least one buddy per class. Having regular contact with these people won’t only help you with your studies, but it can also be fun and motivating. When some is struggling, you can support each other and share ideas.

If your classmates live nearby, you can arrange a study session with them or reach out through video chats. Some online classes have an online student forum where students can chat, ask questions, and share ideas.

Final Thoughts

Working and studying may be two different things, but there are ways to juggle them without affecting your health and lifestyle. Once you decide about being an employee and student at the same time, make sure to manage your time well and keep your eyes on the goal!

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