Balancing School and Work

Posted by Terron Graham on October 11, 2017

I, like a number of other students, pursue work in addition to the responsibilities of class. Right now I am an employee at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Information Services department, doing 25-30 hours a week. This, on top of my 4 classes (10 hours), leads to a pressing schedule for the majority of the week. I’ve compiled a list of a few of the ways that I stay sane with so many hours working.

  1. Leave A Day for Rest

    I have class from 2 to 9 Monday, class and work from 8 to 4:30 Tuesday and Wednesday and work from 8:30 to 5 Thursday and Friday. Including commutes, there’s about 9 hours every day that I’m directly working on something. Homework, projects, and office hours add a substantial amount of time as well. Some people thrive doing 80 hour weeks continuously. I do not. For me there needs to be a break in the madness. Saturday is my sabbath. I kick back and enjoy fall college football without a care in the world. IfI didn’t have that rest, I would not be able to keep this going.

  2. Keep Productive

    Back in my undergraduate days, I would speak to classmates that said they spent up to 80 hours studying for exams in a week. I always thought, “Wow, I should clearly be doing more if I want to keep up”. Eventually though, after sitting in on one of these study sessions, I learned something that has informed my decisions since then. My classmate’s eight hours of studying would consist of multiple conversations with friends, multiple trips to Starbucks, multiple naps to regain energy. That eight hours of studying would be oddly devoid of studying though, causing their productivity to plummet.

Take Time For Yourself

Speaking of productivity, if you don’t have rest, you’ll end up creating what I call “negative work”. Negative work is when you’ve stayed up all night for days and now, you need to push out code for this project that you should’ve done weeks ago. You have to submit it in a few days so you crank out a lot of code today,but when you come back to read over what you’ve done, you notice many errors. Now, you need to go back and redo all that code, meaning you’ve spent time with no productivity that could’ve been spent sleeping. Many people tell students they should be working all the time but self love and self care are not only more important, but necessary to your success with juggling multiple commitments.