Finding a Balance Between Jobs and Academics is Key

Being a student is a full-time commitment and balancing the coursework of four to five classes takes energy and planning. A typical class will assign hours of reading, an equivalent amount of homework, group assignments and anything else that a particular professor deems necessary. Although academic work is every student’s first priority, an overwhelming percentage of students balance their academic work with a part-time job.

Clocking in hours at a part-time job while taking on a full-time course load can become complicated. The biggest hurdle in creating harmony in such a hectic lifestyle is scheduling classes to fit your work schedule, or vice versa.

For example, a student may address all of his or her academic obligations in the morning, leaving much of the afternoon and evening to work. In a perfect world, everyone attending school could be handed a simple schedule. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and thorough planning is always a part of work and school conversation.

Campus jobs can be a bit less stressful because travel is not involved in the weekly routine. Students have the luxury of walking to work as opposed to driving off campus.

Elena Ilieva, a student working in Ramapo’s Potter Library circulation desk, offers some insight on how she manages her time and remains enthusiastic throughout the semester, which is “time management and a lot of physical exercise to keep myself awake.”

Most students forget the physical exhaustion working and studying can bring to the body. Staying healthy should not be overlooked. It’s crucial to foster some form of physical activity throughout the week just to re-energize and re-group the body.

“Sometimes it can be overwhelming but I remind myself that it will be over as soon as I finish,” Illevia also said.

Off-campus jobs are at the root of any working student’s crazy schedule, as they require much more planning.

Angelica Wilkerson, a commuter who currently has an off-campus job, said, “Managing my time wisely makes it less stressful and basically determines every [little] thing.”

It’s safe to say obtaining an off-campus job means having to micro-manage time throughout the day. Every hour counts.

“Being a commuter makes having the off-campus job a little easier,” Wilkerson added.

Naturally, commuting makes working off campus much simpler, even convenient.

It is important to note how both students working on and off campus stress the vitality of time management in balancing school and work. Ramapo students should implement time management techniques regardless of whether or not they are employed. Time management offers students the chance to cultivate a skill they will later use in the workplace.

Adding a job on top of your academic coursework can be stressful. However, having the responsibility of a job and learning how to play the sensitive balance game is the perfect way to prepare for life after Ramapo.