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Five ways to balance university and work

Balancing University studies and a part-time job, as well as your personal life, can sometimes prove to be difficult especially because most master’s programs tend to be intense, therefore, it is likely that at some point you might find yourself in a position where you feel overwhelmed. Also, when you are studying and studying at the same time, sometimes you might find that you are overfocusing on one area and neglecting the other. It might be that you are giving more focus to your part-time job and neglecting your studies and personal life. So, the question then becomes: How can you balance your studies, work, and personal life? Working whilst also studying is bound to be difficult and stressful sometimes but there are still some steps that you can take to lessen the stress and help you to maintain a balance throughout your university life.

1. Work ahead

To be able to achieve a work-life balance, you need to work ahead, this means less procrastination and more effort put into the tasks at hand. Procrastinating too much will lead to a longer to-do list which will make it harder to have any time for other things. So, ensuring that you start your reading/assignments early will give you enough time to relax a little bit during your work.

2. Prioritise your work

Making sure that you prioritise your work depending on when each assignment, exam is due will help you to stay organised and enable you to meet all the deadlines. If you know the due dates of your assignments and exams, you can effectively prepare for it. That way you can also work out which days to go to work. It will allow you to focus on what is important. Knowing you have done a project and do not have to worry about it can help you feel more balanced and relaxed.

3. Keep an updated schedule

It is possible to combine a part-time job and university studies and still manage to excel in both. However, to able to do this, you will need to be highly organised and manage your time well. A great way to keep an updated schedule is to make use of the calendar app on your phone. It is important to take the time to add your class schedule for the semester and any due dates of assignments. You should also plan for sudden work crises and last-minute overtime requests. Block off enough study time to be able to adjust if necessary.

4. Agree on working days with your manager before starting the job

It is important that you make it clear to your manager what days you will be able to work and what days you are unavailable that way your manager knows your availability and will not require you to cover shifts on those days where you might have classes.

5. Make time for yourself

It is easy to neglect ourselves especially when work becomes too hectic, but a good work and university balance needs to include time for yourself. One of my favourite things to do is go for a run at least three times a week or go for a long walk to a park with my flatmate. Manchester has some amazing parks which you can explore. Your wellbeing is important, if you are not feeling well emotionally or physically, you will not be able to do your job or studies very well so ensure you find time for some self-care.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Below are some pictures of places my flatmate and I have been going to for walks that you can explore.

A park in Manchester during sunset

Sunset in Ordsall

A view of the new Manchester buildings from Deansgate