Managing a part-time job with uni studies

Posted: May 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
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When I started uni I was told not to do more than 7 hours of part time work each week. This is because uni actually takes up a lot of your time. Despite the few hours you may spend in classes, if you want to do well, you will need to put in a lot of hours of independent study. However the suggested work minimum isn’t a reality for most uni students. Many of us have moved out of home and now have to cover bills, accommodation, food, and toiletries (yep these run out too).

So how do you manage your university commitments and a part time job?

  1. First step is to make a weekly/fortnightly timetable that divides the day up into hours. This way you can see at a glance how many hours there are in a week and how much spare time you have.
  2. Put in all your uni classes first. Even those that only happen on rare occasions (when you don’t have these classes, use this time for study).
  3. Next step is to put in things like soccer practice, music lessons etc.
  4. So now we are up to ‘travel time’. A huge variable unfortunately. If you don’t drive to all these places, it’s a good time to look over some notes, listen to your lectures on an iPod/mp3 or even unwind a little by reading a book.
  5. So how many hours are left? Don’t forget to factor in things such as meals, getting dressed, and sleep. You’ll find most students will lose sleep in order to make more time for homework or end up sleeping on the train (if they can get a seat).
  6.  What still needs to fit into your timetable? Well, study, part-time work, and some down time to relax. So how much time should you give to study? Again, another huge variable. As a base line, for every hour you have a class (for uni students this is called a contact hour) you should do an (absolute) minimum of 1 hour study (during normal semester classes). If you can’t do that then you need to make some changes to your extracurricular activities.

After all that there might not be much time left so use it wisely. Having probably stressed you out a little here are a few suggestions to dealing with anxiety:

  • Many universities will offer (free) lunch time sessions in meditation, time management, and managing stress to name just a few (Melbourne certainly does so make the most of them).
  • yourself time to relax, even if it’s just half an hour a day to watch your favourite show or read a book.
  • Don’t let yourself get bogged down in e-mails e.g. try and limit yourself to checking them three times a day.

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