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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Sara Says

Sara+Says

How do you recommend handling having a job and being a full-time student?  

-Selena D ’22 

Hi Selena!

Working while taking classes full-time is no easy feat, but is certainly manageable — many have done it before and many will in the future. 

My suggestions differ depending on the type of job you take on, but my first word of advice pertains to scheduling.

If you are working a part-time internship or job during normal working hours, your best bet would probably be stacking your classes on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule or a Tuesday/Thursday schedule. This leaves you with 2-3 days open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to fit in your responsibilities for that internship/job.

If you can’t stack your classes completely, night classes are another option. They really free up your schedule (if you can stand to be in class for three hours at a time and are able to focus late at night).

If you have a more flexible job schedule, allowing you to work evenings, weekends or hours you decide, then you can try to strategically put together a class schedule that will work best for you. This can depend on times of the day you are most alert, or what courses would really help you stay on track for your plan of study. For example, one path might be to take classes during the mornings and designate afternoons to work. But, make sure your class schedule reflects how you perform best academically. 

My second word of advice is to avoid an overwhelming course load. Certain classes and subjects will demand more time than others, and you know better than anyone what those subjects are for you. Also, try to steer clear of an extremely demanding course such as Business Policy or Research Methods during a semester you will be working. 

After scheduling, everything comes down to time management. Staying on top of your work so that you aren’t completing poor quality work at the last minute is important to your success. This usually means putting in time on the weekends and in the evenings to ensure you don’t fall behind on time-consuming assignments. 

You also might want to schedule out your time before each week starts in order to hold yourself accountable and guarantee you can get everything done. 

Finally, and most importantly, you need to take care of yourself if you are taking on a full course load and a job. This means making time to move your body, eat well and get enough rest. Allowing yourself downtime to spend with friends will also support your well-being. 

The main tenet here is really to proactively take steps to manage the stress you are taking on. If you can do that, I think you will find that you can live a balanced life while working a job and enrolling in a full course load.

“Sara Says…” is a weekly advice column where Sara Garstka ’22 answers any questions you may have about St. Joe’s or life in general. Is there a question you’d like answered? Send all inquiries to [email protected].

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