how to balance high school and a part-time job
Posted : January 28, 2014
Last Updated : December 16, 2015
Having a part-time job in high school is a balancing act for students. On top of your work commitments, you need to balance your school work, extracurricular activities, social life, etc. Here are a few tips to help you learn how to manage high school responsibilities and a part-time job.
Have a support system. As a high school student who wants or has a part-time job, you need a strong support system. Discuss your schedule with your family because balancing school and work will be easier with their support. Ask their advice on whether they think your schedule can handle a part-time job. Find out if family members will be available if you need transportation to and from work. If you begin to feel stressed with too many responsibilities, discuss with your parents which activities (either work or extracurricular) you would like to drop from your schedule.
Pick a job that will mesh with your calendar. Find a job that will accommodate your busy high school schedule. If your after-school activities are on a fixed schedule, look for a part-time job that offers a fixed schedule as well. For instance, if you have track practice after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a job where you could work Monday and Wednesday evenings would be ideal. If your after-school activities are more unpredictable, discuss with the hiring manager how flexible he can be with your work schedule. To avoid being overloaded with too many responsibilities, you should also let the hiring manager know that you can work no more than 10 to 15 hours per week.
Find a job that you enjoy. If you find a part-time job that you enjoy, you will have a much easier time balancing that job and your school responsibilities because it won’t feel like a chore that you have to complete. You should find a job that you will look forward to working after a long day at school. If you love gaming, consider getting a part-time job at your local GameStop or other video game store. If you are a music buff, see what kind of part-time job opportunities are available at your local radio stations.
Schedule your daily tasks. One of the most important facets of balancing high school responsibilities and a part-time job is scheduling your daily tasks. Invest in a daily planner or use an app on your phone to schedule your daily responsibilities, such as study hours, work hours, club meetings, sport practice and game times, project due dates, test dates, social time, etc. Avoid conflicts by planning your schedule as far ahead as possible. You should reference your planner or app every day and make updates as needed. Remember to schedule free time during the week and on weekends in order to avoid burnout.
Prioritize your responsibilities. As you create your daily to-do lists, you should prioritize your responsibilities. It’s okay if the lower priority tasks are not always completed on an everyday basis. However, keep in mind that your school work and studies should always come first. If your grades begin to suffer, you will either need to cut back on your work hours or consider the option of only working during the summer months.
Use your time wisely. As you balance school responsibilities and your job, you will learn time management. Take advantage of any free time throughout your day to complete reading assignments or homework. For instance, if you take the bus home or your parents drive you to your job, use that commute to complete reading assignments. If you have down time at your job and your supervisor doesn’t mind, use that down time to study for any upcoming tests.
Stay organized. The key to remaining stress-free while you maintain a busy schedule is to stay organized. Keep your desk at home, locker, and backpack organized and neat so you don’t waste time searching for important assignments. Label and organize folders and notebooks for each class. Utilize a filing system to keep important documents and recycle old term papers, assignments, and exams that are no longer needed.
Live a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle can help you manage the stress of school and work. Adopt these healthy habits to stay energized for your busy schedule:
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Eat less sugar and processed foods.
Drink more water and fewer sodas.
Get between 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Avoid alcohol and drugs.
Learn to say no. You should avoid taking on too many responsibilities. It’s ok to turn down invitations and opportunities in which you don’t have time. If your boss is scheduling you for too many hours at work, meet with him and let him know that school and your studies are your first priority and that you would like to work fewer hours through the week. If your friends keep asking you to hang out when you have a test the following day, let them know that you need to study.
Balancing high school responsibilities and a part-time job takes some effort, but you should find that your schedule becomes easier the more you get accustomed to it. If your grades begin to suffer or you become too overburdened with responsibilities, it's time to reevaluate your schedule.