How To Balance Work And Going To College Full-Time

old fashion balancing scale sitting in a shop window

It’s very important to learn how to balance work and school so you can achieve all your academic and working goals.

Working full-time while you are in college is now becoming a necessity. With the cost of tuition and living steadily increasing more and more students are becoming working students. The benefits of being a working student are enormous. Not only can they bankroll the cost of attending college, but the work experience they gain is priceless. The work experience can be put on your resume and it can give you a jump in your career.

Working and going to college full-time is a challenge. However, with a little planning, you will be able to strike a good balance. These tips will help you balance being a full-time employee and a full-time student.

1. Choose A Flexible Job

Find a job that offers the flexibility you need. This is going to be different for each student.

A work-from-home job provides significant flexibility. On the heels of the pandemic, many companies are offering work-from-home opportunities. Working from home allows students to better balance work and school. Check out this article, The Best Online And Work-From-Home Jobs For College Students.

There are Businesses That Pay For College Through Tuition Reimbursement Programs. These businesses understand that a college student’s schedule changes each semester. As employers, they are used to making accommodations for employees who are students. Not only will they be flexible with your work schedule, but they may pay for your tuition too!

Visit your student career center on campus. Typically, on-campus jobs are more flexible with scheduling. Students can work in the dining hall, the campus bookstore, the library, and campus offices. If you are strong in a certain subject, you can also be a tutor. Depending on your major, you can be a teaching or research assistant.

2. Create The Best Class Schedule You Can

Schedule your classes each semester with consideration to the work schedule you’re aiming to work. Creating a class schedule is easiest when you have already developed your academic plan, if you have not done that, you’re going to want to. When developing your schedule, try to schedule classes on 2 or 3 days a week and work the rest. Get very tight when building your class schedule. You don’t want any unnecessary downtime on campus. Whenever possible take an online class and try to fit in a class during summer session, this will allow for more flexibility in your class schedule during fall and spring.

Add Online Classes to Your Class Schedule

Online college classes are becoming more popular and abundant. They offer an enormous amount of flexibility and are conducive to most schedules. They are the perfect choice to mix with traditional classes to balance work and school.

There are two types of online classes, synchronous and asynchronous. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The main difference between the two are, that synchronous classes have live instruction occurring at a set time and asynchronous classes are done more at your own pace. Professors will link to pre-recorded lectures, videos, and slides for students to watch at their convenience.

Online courses are very accommodating, particularly asynchronous classes. The ability to fit them anywhere in your schedule can be the difference between taking a class or not. They were essential for me being able to work and for graduating early because I was able to fit more classes into my busy schedule.

Enroll In A Summer Session Class

If you have a particularly tight work schedule, summer classes are the key to reducing your load during fall and spring terms. Removing a single class from your schedule and moving it to the summer can create the breathing room that you need to work.

3. Get Organized

Getting organized is crucial to balancing work, school, and life. There are two ways that will quickly get you organized: Create a calendar and create a schedule.

Create A Calendar

It can be a physical one such as a paper calendar or a whiteboard. Or a digital calendar such as Google, iPhone, or Microsoft Outlook. Once you’ve chosen your calendar start filling it in. Note when you have classes, and when assignments, projects, and tests are due. Include midterms, finals, holidays, and breaks. Scheduled when you work, if you have meetings or have to cover for someone or work extra hours. Be sure to look at your calendar daily, it’s what will keep you on track.

Create A Schedule

The best way to balance work and school is to create a good routine. You can do this by creating a schedule. Plan out your classes, work, study time, grocery shopping, homework, socializing, and workouts. Make a schedule that works with your work and school. Prioritizing time and using it efficiently is key. You will know what needs your attention and when because you have it scheduled.

a monthly planner and a laptop computer sitting on a with desk. A hand holding a pen is writing in the planner

4. Build A Good Support System

Having a support system of family, friends, peers, colleagues, and professors can ease your stress. Being able to talk to someone who cares, go out for a bite to eat, or even take a walk may be all that you need to decompress from your busy life. Learn to rely on your support system, it’s important to be there for each other and have people you can rely on. The Importance Of Family Support When Going To College is significant. According to recent studies, students with family support are more likely to succeed academically than those without them. Emotional support is about providing reassurance, encouragement, comfort, empathy, acceptance, trust, and love. Emotional support shows a greater impact on students than any other type.

5. Work On Your Time Management

Being able to divide your time efficiently between work and school is essential for balance, especially when you are doing both full-time. When you manage your time well, you can control the amount of time spent on each area. Multitasking can be an effective way to boost your productivity and utilize your time wisely.


There are several different ways, every day that you can utilize multitasking to balance your studies and work. Take your books, notes, flashcards, or homework to work with you. Study or read during your lunch breaks and any other breaks. If you have downtime, don’t waste it by scrolling through social media or hanging out in the breakroom. Squeeze in study time. Anywhere there is an overlap between work and school, use it to your benefit.

Trying to earn your college degree while working full-time is no easy task, but like most things in life, being a full-time student and employee requires balance. When you start feeling overwhelmed, I want you to stop and take a minute and think about what you are doing and all that you are accomplishing. You are graduating without debt, that’s going to put you ahead in life. You are gaining skills and experience that are priceless. That’s something to be very proud of.