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Balancing Work and School
By The College Advisor

It's getting close to the end of the school year. Were you one of the many who both worked and went to college? Did you take on too big a load? Do you still have time to have some fun?

Today many colleges are encouraging students to have work experience before they graduate. Some students must work in order to pay their college expenses. Therefore, more students are in the workforce while attending college. Learning to balance the two can be a big challenge. If you've been doing that this year, you already know how well you are doing. If you plan to do it next year, here are some lessons learned.


  • Supervisor: "I thought I could handle it all, but next year I'll plan better. The end of the year pressure for school work is quite high and the working hours don't let up."

  • Inspector: "I'm always careful about overloading myself so I was careful about how many working hours I took on. I worked hard to stay ahead in my classes - especially if I had to write papers."

  • Provider: "Luckily my work provides me with a lot of social outlets so I was still able to have some fun with people. Last year I did a data input job and I almost went nuts."

  • Protector: "I was able to earn money by helping elderly people part-time. They usually understand when I need to spend more money on my schoolwork."


  • Promoter: "I'm pretty good at picking up the pace when I need to, so the last minute school rush usually doesn't bother me too much. I learned last year to start on papers earlier because I can't just bull through them with energy."

  • Crafter: "I like the work I do. Sometimes schoolwork suffers. Then I have to grit my teeth and push on through."

  • Performer: "I love my major and I love my job so usually I can juggle the two. Last semester I took on too much and my grades suffered. I am taking fewer classes this term."

  • Composer: "My family can't afford to support me, so I only take classes as I can. Work has to come first. It will take me longer to graduate, but that's the breaks."


  • Teacher: "I thought I could do it all, but I wasn't prepared when my mother got sick. I'm a commuter student and I had to cut my work hours to help her. Also I may fail one class because it was too late to drop it."

  • Counselor: "I took on too big a load and got sick mid-term and had to be hospitalized. So I had to take a leave of absence. I think I'll work for a year to save up some money and then I'll go back to school. Next time I'll take a lighter load of school and work."

  • Champion: "It seems that everyone likes to sob on my shoulder. I only work a few hours in the student cafeteria, but I couldn't manage a bigger load and keep my grades up and my friends happy."

  • Healer: "I just need some time to be alone and day-dream. Last term I overloaded myself and became very down, so this time I am lightening up on myself."


  • Fieldmarshal: "In my job I am able to delegate some tasks and set some goals, so it is quite satisfying. At school, I have to respond to the directions of professors. I'll be glad when I'm through with school, so I'm keeping as good a balance as I can with the objective of graduating soon."

  • Mastermind: "I find that I get fascinated by some classes and find others boring. The same is true for some of my job tasks. I have to use will power to keep going on the things I don't enjoy."

  • Inventor: "Luckily my job as a movie theater manager is interesting and I get to see the new movies - although in starts and stops. Since I want to go into cinema, school and work fit pretty well together but it does get hectic at the end of each term."

  • Architect: "I blow hot and cold about school. I just want to get done and get out there to earn money. My family can't help so I'm working as much as I can and getting through school as fast as I can."

Is there anything you've learned from some of these statements? Hopefully, you are balancing work and school well.


Temperament and School

Home for Holidays
Changing Majors
Studying for Midterms
Balancing Work & School
Your Intelligence Strengths
Helicopter Parents
Failing Classes
Perfection Trap
Is Grad School For You?
Double Majors
Non-technical Degree?
College Not Working For You?
Summer Jobs
Professional Organizations
Sports Careers

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