Overwhelmed With School and Work? Try This 4-Step Strategy — MedCerts

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Whether you’re working towards your first career or making a career change, leaping into postsecondary schooling is an exciting time. However, given the increasing cost of higher education, most students maintain part-time or even full-time jobs while taking classes.

‌It’s not uncommon for students to become overwhelmed with school and work. The primary reason for 38 percent of postsecondary drop-outs is due to financial pressure.

‌4-Step Strategy to Balance Work and School

‌Implementing a strategy or game plan before beginning school will start you off in the right direction. Although, that doesn’t mean you can’t implement a strategy later or change the one you have.

‌The following strategy and tips can help you learn how to juggle school and work.

‌1. Get Organized

‌Good organizational skills will benefit you in many aspects of your life. This is especially true when you are trying to balance work and school. Here are some tips and resources for getting organized:

  • Download a planner app

  • Utilize a written calendar

  • Create a vision board

  • Make daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists

  • Write reminders on sticky notes and place them in visible places

‌Staying organized can be challenging, especially when you have a lot of upcoming exams and projects due. When things begin to get disorganized, take some time to regroup and reorganize.

2. Time Management

Managing your time will prevent you from overcommitting yourself to work, school and social activities. When ordering your time, make sure to consider the following:

  • Social activities

  • Study time

  • Work time

  • Self-care or “you” time

‌3. Set Boundaries

Establishing boundaries with work and your social life will help you be successful with your studies. The key to creating boundaries is communicating with the people in your life.

Talk to your family, friends, and supervisor about your availability. At home, avoid taking on too many extra tasks. It's easy to lose track of how many activities you've committed to with your family. The same can be said for overcommitting to your friends. At work, try to arrange a set schedule with your supervisor.

‌Furthermore, it’s ok to say “no” to your family, friends, and supervisor. ‌Taking on one more shift at work or staying out with your friends longer than you intended can quickly add up. As you take on one more thing after another, you will soon become overwhelmed. Maintaining boundaries will keep you on track.

‌4. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

‌It’s easy to lose track of self-care when you have too much on your plate. Work and school both require energy and brainpower. Eating a healthy diet and exercising will provide you with energy and keep your mind sharp.

‌While you are getting organized and creating a time management plan, it’s important to plan time to focus on self-care.

Have Fun

Staying focused on your goals and remembering why you enrolled in a postsecondary program will ensure your success. It's also important to take a step back and enjoy life.

Portrait of Julie Campos
Written by Julie Campos
Senior Director of Operations and Student Success

Julie Campos is the Senior Director of Operations and Student Success at MedCerts. She brings over 14 years of experience in Online Higher Education in both Student Support and Enrollment and started her career at the University of Phoenix, serving most of her tenure as a student-facing leader.

Julie has her Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso, and her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Her areas of expertise are student support in online higher education environments and working with nontraditional students. At MedCerts, she is focused on creating a pro-active student central support model for MedCerts students to reach their goals and has developed the MedCerts Student Support and Outreach Model, created MedCerts Student Success Advisor reports and Dashboards, as well as the Student Success Advisor Playbook. Her proactive approach to student support has been crucial in meeting MedCerts’ student’s needs, as well as completion and certification goals.

Julie has three children – a 10-year-old son and 12- and 4-year-old daughters, who keep her and her husband busy with sports. She is also an avid crafter with an entire room of her home dedicated to the hobby. In her free time, she enjoys teaching wreath making and even has a few “how-to” YouTube videos on the subject!

Published on January 31, 2022

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