Though it may seem nearly impossible, many students have been balancing a job with their school work. Being at Republic Polytechnic means completing daily deliverables, including a Reflection Journal (RJ) at the end of the day. To some, it may seem extremely difficult to submit everything and work shifts every week. However, it is not impossible.
Here are three tips for juggling school and work.
USE TIME MANAGEMENT TOOLS
Use calendars to plan when you’ll be working in advance. This will help you to visualise what days you’ll be free to do some revision or graded assignments. Simple calendar or organisation apps such as Google Calendar and Notion can help you plan your days, weeks, and months better. Even writing in your phone’s notes app could help organise things better.
Notion is a good website to organize your assignments (Photo: Yrika)
Planning is an everyday thing. For example, if you’re working after school, it’s best to try and finish up the deliverables in class so that you’ll have lesser things to worry about later in the day. You can also try finishing up the easier tasks like peer and self-evaluation in class. Also, if you don’t get motion sickness, you can look into doing the RJ on the way to work on your phone! Or perhaps just come up with the ideas and what you want to write for your RJ in your head and write them out later when you can.
Additionally, during ESEs, MSAs, or GA submission periods, time management is crucial. Depending on how your workplace does the scheduling (by week or month), it would be helpful to plan when to do your revision for MSAs or when you should start GAs. This would give you ample time to work and avoid the last-minute rush.
WORK SMART, NOT HARD
The daily RJ is an important part of our daily grade. However, is it really necessary to write an extremely long RJ? A longer one doesn’t always guarantee a good grade. Your lecturers would have to go through at least 20 RJ entries a day and they don’t favor reading through an entire essay. Get your main points across with the famous and safe P.E.E (Point, Evidence, Explain) method and you would be good to go!
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Always communicate it with your supervisors (Photo: Pixels)
Some workplaces are more flexible with scheduling and you should take advantage of this. Communication is key. Approach your boss or manager about your school schedule and talk it through. Perhaps, you can only commit to weekend shifts or you would prefer night shifts after school so that you’ll have some downtime or revision time on the weekend. As you explain your daily schedule, you can negotiate a comfortable number of shifts that accommodate both parties. With this open conversation, you can avoid getting shifts that just don’t work for you.
Working while being a student is an extremely tiring life to live.
Many sacrifices have to be made; from missed opportunities to not having sufficient time for yourself or your friends. Find time for your hobbies and hang out with your friends. However, if it all gets too much, it’s okay to take a break.
These three simple tips are just the tip of the iceberg and it is not guaranteed to work for everyone, but they can be used as a guide! With experience, you could find your own way to balance your life in RP and beyond.