How to Balance Full-Time Work and College | Pioneer Pacific

How to Balance Full-Time Work and College

20 November 2019 By Kate

choice between school and work

With so many great higher learning options available to Americans today, it’s no wonder why more adults are returning to college than ever before. But with many adults already working full time, it can be difficult to learn how to balance work and college at first.

Luckily, there are a ton of awesome resources out there for students that are working while in college. If you’ve decided to go back to school and are unwilling to let anything distract you from earning your Bachelor’s degree while working full time, we’ve got some helpful tips that will make your life a bit easier as you embark on this new journey. Keep reading to learn more about working full time in college.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and College

1. Create a Study-Only Zone

One of the best ways that you can help to ensure that you’re making time—and space— for your weekly studying, is to designate a specific area in your home for schoolwork only. A good learning space should promote productivity. Keep your space clean and organized, ideally with a desk and chair that is ergonomically designed for optimum comfort. It can also be helpful to put up a bulletin board or dry-erase calendar that make it easy to keep up with important deadlines and other responsibilities.

2. Take Advantage of Your Commute

Unless you work from home, you likely spend at least 20 minutes in the car each day traveling back and forth to work or school. This is the perfect time to get some studying done. If possible, download audiobook files for your textbooks or with your professor’s permission, record lectures and go over them again before an exam in the car. If you happen to be studying a new language, this is also an ideal time to listen to podcasts, your own recordings of vocabulary words and more.

3. Turn Your Manager into an Ally

Many companies now make it easy for their employees to return to school and may even offer tuition reimbursement for those that choose a degree related to their current field. Letting the people you work with know that school is a top priority in your life is a good way to communicate that you are committed to being a good employee while juggling school responsibilities as well. Creating this open line of communication may help your managers to be more understanding if you’re unable to pick up extra shifts or when you need to leave early if your classes require it.

4. Take Care of Yourself

It is very easy to get run down when trying to balance your work, school, and home-life responsibilities. So, when you get a chance, it’s important to take some “me time” and practice self-care. This could be something as simple as taking a hot bath after a long day of work and school or something more elaborate like a long weekend away at the end of the term. Whatever the case, prioritizing your physical and mental health is vital to striking a good work-life balance.

5. Ask for Help

In addition to opening a new line of communication at work, you should let your friends, family, and professors know that much of your time needs are devoted to your work and school responsibilities. This is a great opportunity to reach out to your loved ones when you need help with childcare or even keeping up with your household chores. And by explaining your situation to your professor, they are much more likely to be understanding if you need to step out of a lecture to answer a call or need to leave class early for a work commitment.

RELATED: 5 Things To Know Before Going Back to School at 30

6. Manage Your Time

You should do your best to create and stick to a strict schedule during the week. It’s important to allocate blocks of time each week for all of your regular commitments that need attention, as well as time for studying and exam prep. As a good rule of thumb, for every hour you spend in class each week, you should schedule 2 hours of homework time.

7. Explore Online Course Offerings

Possibly one of the best ways to optimize your work-study time is to take a crack at online classes. This is a great option for someone who maybe doesn’t have the flexibility to attend lectures throughout the week in-person and feels like they can manage to keep up with a looser schedule online. However, just like any other course you take, there will be plenty of homework and writing assignments for most online classes, so be sure to manage your time effectively.

Earn Your Degree at Pioneer Pacific College

Are you ready to return to school but are unsure of how many classes you should take while working full time? 

At Pioneer Pacific College, we’re here to help you strike the ideal work-life balance and make sure you earn your degree at your own pace. For more information on the different degree programs we offer, contact our Admissions Officers today and be sure to request a tour of your local campus.


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