Balancing work and school as a college student is something that takes intentional effort, and honestly, I haven’t always been the best at it.
It’s a skill to be able to schedule accordingly, be on top of assignments and be cautious not to overwork yourself. On top of that, balancing being a student, employee, friend, significant other, daughter, granddaughter and so much more….well that takes even more of an intentional effort.
With that being said, virtual school presents students with more time than usual to be able to balance these different areas of life. It is the perfect time to get a job — and here’s why.
For all Miami University students, this summer was full of surprises. For most, it was a time of uncertainty: Will we be back on campus? Moving into dorms? Online classes? Getting to Oxford and then being sent home? Among all students who were asking these questions, there were also students who could not find jobs amidst the nationwide shutdown.
As a student who has to pay for a good amount of school myself, graduate school included, I rely on the summer months to make most of my money so I can work less during the school year and focus on my studies. Alas, because of coronavirus, a lot of the normal part-time jobs that myself and other college students would normally pursue were either postponed or eliminated completely — which meant that maybe we weren’t able to make the money we were expecting to.
For someone who likes things to be very organized and “according to plan,” the unpredictability did not contribute positively to my summer.
There I was, summer 2020, locked in my house, no job and fully knowing I would have to work more in the fall, again, all while in the middle of transferring schools. So, on top of a million questions and all the uncertainty, I was especially nervous because I knew my school schedule was challenging and that I had to be working more than the previous semester to make up for the summer.
But, as they say, everything happens for a reason.
When the emails came out that we would be back on campus starting fully virtual and moving into dorms late in September, I jumped on the opportunity to get out of my university housing contract and find an apartment with some friends I met while visiting last year. Two of my classes were scheduled to be on campus once Sept. 21 came around, and I knew my work schedule had to be based on the potential of those classes being in-person.
After getting to Oxford, I gave myself the first couple of weeks to adjust to the new school and work on following a set schedule. Now more than ever, it was important for me to get into healthy school habits — that way, I could block off time for academics, future work, friends and family.
Once I felt comfortably adjusted, I started applying for jobs. The great thing about Oxford is that business owners and managers recognize that the majority of their employees and customers are college students, and I found that the managing staff of many places I applied to were flexible with my availability and really tried to cater to my needs, instead of making demands for themselves.
I was so nervous to work again because, last semester, I was beyond overwhelmed with work and school and realized that I was not giving myself enough time to be with friends, family or even just alone.
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I knew this semester had to be different, and online school presented me with a chance to work at that. After applying to multiple places and weighing my options, I took a job at Skipper’s and am so happy I did.
I have found that because all of my classes are online for the semester, I have much more time to balance all the different aspects of my life because I am not actively walking to and attending in-person classes. Not only that, but I am working more than I did last semester and am not feeling pressed for time or like I am falling behind in school.
I am encouraging anyone who is considering getting a job to do it! Fill out that application, take the position and be intentional about making time for all of the things you want in your life. As I said, because I have not always been the best at time management, this virtual break is helping me prepare for the future when we go back to in-person classes and I will have to balance more.
Yes, coronavirus has come with plenty of setbacks, but this time has given me the opportunity to re-train myself in the way of proper time management and healthy scheduling habits.
To me, there is no better time to be a student and an employee simultaneously. I strongly believe that you all should consider the same.