Best ways to maintain school and work-life balance as an international student.
As a working student, learning how to balance school and work is needed to avoid burnout. You’ll have to find the best ways to get your schoolwork done and attend to your work responsibilities, while maintaining a healthy life.
Even more, some students have the pressure of completing coursework, paying for school, and yet trying to take care of their families. All these can be overwhelming.
These different aspects of life can make one forget or lose interest in other things that matter – like fun, health, hobbies, and friends.
At Fasthire, we believe and understand that learning how to balance college study and work is a strong skill that every working student needs to acquire as early as possible in their life. And there are a variety of ways to achieve that, which we will look at here.
This article explains the best ways to maintain school and work-life balance as an international student.
What Is Work-School-Life Balance for Working Students?
Work-school-life balance means prioritizing personal and professional activities while working, pursuing an education, and upholding other life commitments such as maintaining health or child-rearing.
These responsibilities require time and attention, so prospective working students should make a plan for dealing with the stress that comes from balancing so many demanding activities.
Some Common Challenges Working Students Face
Working students face common challenges when pursuing their degrees:
Time Management: The biggest challenge for working students is time management. While you must find time to study, you also want to make sure you’re making enough money to afford rent and food.
Lack of Self-motivation and Willpower: It can be hard for working students to get motivated enough to study or complete their assignments.
May Experience Loneliness and Isolation: Working while going to school full-time is challenging because it means spending less time with friends and family members.
You Go to Bed Tired and Exhausted: Balancing work and school errands is tiring. Working students start their day as early as possible and may still feel that the hours devoted aren’t enough. In the end, they go to bed tired from the long list of errands they need to finish.
You Prefer Working Overtime Than Participating in Extracurricular Activities: If you are a working student, you know how working overtime sounds better than your school’s extracurricular deeds.
Your Homework and Projects Are Overwhelming: It’s frustrating to have a pile of schoolwork plus those bills you need to settle before the weekend. Students, especially the working ones, can relate to the pressure of meeting the amount you need before you can take the examinations.
You Suffer from Sleep Deprivation and Other Health Complications: Generally, students suffer from sleep deprivation because of school errands; however, working students struggle more.
Time management should perhaps be the most important tool for finding balance. Time management is defined as the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively. This is easier said than done because many people fall into the habit of procrastination. But if one can learn the act and discipline of time management, it will go a long way in finding balance.
2. Do What You Enjoy
Although some jobs, studies, and activities are quite stressful, finding and doing what you enjoy could make things a lot easier. You can also train yourself to see the good in whatever job or study you do so that you can approach work with a positive mindset. In addition, if you’re not pressured by family to major in a particular field of study, choose what you are interested in so that learning is interesting.
Communication is a vital aspect of a healthy life and state of mind. If you are a student who has a job, be sure you tell your boss that you are in school. Most employers will be accommodating to this situation and create a schedule that works best for you. Additionally, they may be willing to provide you with time off during exams or big projects.
4. Build a Support Circle
Build a support circle, don’t do things alone. You may be capable of doing things alone, but you do not have to and shouldn’t. One of the most important things to remember, especially when you inevitably feel overwhelmed, is that you are not alone. By connecting with friends and people in the same boat as you, you can learn tips and tricks from your peers.
5. Ask for Help
Another advantage of having a support circle is you can lean on people for help when you need it and offer help when you have the time and energy to do so.
Maintaining School and Work-Life Balance
Working and going to school requires dedication, perseverance, time management, and most importantly, a positive attitude. Although it’s a challenge to balance both, there are better ways to make this balancing act easier to manage.
Below are steps you can take to make sure you feel like a human, even when you’re stressed out.
Best Ways to Maintain School and Work-Life Balance as An International Student
1. Use Your Time Wisely
Time management is the best trick to maximize the use of your time. Learn how you can cut out the time it takes to do the things that add extra hours. Also, some tools can help you set time limits so you will be able to allocate your extra time to complete more important tasks.
2. Know Yourself and Your Capacity
Get to know yourself. If you have most of your energy at night, then dedicate that time to learning material that is more challenging. If you’re a morning person, get up early and knock off tasks from your to-do list. Spend your most productive time working on the most challenging work, or subjects you have.
3. Have a To-Do List
This involves organizing the things you need to do in numerical order based on priority. It is a really simple way to master your time. Oftentimes, you can forget a task because you didn’t write it down. This can reduce the stress of having to remember everything.
4. Prioritize your Time
Begin by doing the most important task of the day. A simple method for prioritization is to list accordingly the tasks with the nearest deadlines. Organize your work in a meaningful way based on when projects, papers, and other work events are due. This will allow you to focus on what is most important first, and then knock out smaller assignments afterward. Knowing you’ve completed a major project can also help you to feel more balanced and relaxed.
5. Procrastinate Rightly
Procrastination is bound to happen, but you can procrastinate strategically. If you don’t want to perform a specific task at a specific time, try another one that you have to get done. For example, if you are not feeling focused enough to read, cross something else off your list by cleaning or organizing. That is, rather than wasting time, shift your focus to another necessary thing on your to-do list.
6. Work Ahead
Learn to work ahead. If you have the extra time and energy to get something done, even if it’s very early in the timeline, do it! This will free up time for you in the future. It can also help to reduce stress during your busy weeks. Whenever possible, working ahead is like buying extra time for yourself.
7. Take Breaks and Make Time for Yourself
Studying and working for hours on end can lead to burnout. Make it a habit to take breaks regularly to give your brain a rest and improve your mood. In addition, try to schedule more substantial breaks, like a long weekend or extended vacation, whenever possible. Spend time doing things that you enjoy and removing your mind for work and school. Have fun, whether it involves pampering yourself at a spa, touring, being with friends, etc.
It’s hard to be productive when you are tired, so sleep. Sleep gives your body and brain the time it needs to recuperate. It also helps to regulate your hormones and body functioning. If you properly manage your time and make the most out of your hours of productivity, you should be able to get to sleep at a decent hour and then wake up early to get to work the next day.
9. Have a Study Space
Your environment is of utmost importance when you study. You want to be sure that you set yourself up in a comfortable place. This can play a big role in your ability to stay focused.
When you complete an assignment or get positive feedback from work, take the time to celebrate these wins by doing something you love. Rather than focusing on large victories, focus on the smaller achievements, like getting a good grade on a test or essay. By doing so, you help yourself stay motivated.
11. Say “No” When You Need to
Saying “yes” to everything and taking on too much at once can be draining. Without energy, you won’t be able to put in the effort that’s needed to succeed! Practice saying “no” to some things and talk to your supervisor if you feel your workload is too much at the moment.
12. Talk to Your Employer About Flexibility
More than likely, your employer wants you to do well in school. If a slight change in work hours or a work-from-home day (depending on your job, of course) can help with classes and won’t sacrifice your performance on the job, talk with your supervisor about these more flexible options.
13. Eat Well/Help yourself by getting healthy
Prioritize your health by eating well, getting quality sleep, and exercising. Even socializing will improve your mental health and give you some much-needed energy throughout the week.
14. Ask for Help
Most importantly, remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Talk to someone more experienced – maybe a professor, student, supervisor, or co-worker when you’re having trouble with a concept or specific task. These people may be able to offer additional support.
15. Devote Time to Hobbies
If you work hard, you deserve to take the time to enjoy yourself as well. Read a non-academic book, go on a hike with friends, or cook a meal with your family. Little rewards like these will help you stay motivated when the time comes to return to work.
16. Set Limits
No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot do everything. Avoid taking on new responsibilities by politely saying no. While you may miss out on some opportunities by doing this, remaining focused on your top priorities will allow you to accomplish what you set out to do more quickly.
17. Don’t Procrastinate
Breaks are important, but don’t use them to put off work that should be done sooner rather than later. By doing things ahead and on time, you will avoid the stress and anxiety of trying to beat a last-minute deadline.
Conclusion: Best Ways to Maintain School and Work-Life Balance as An International Student
Balancing the demands of work, school, and life is difficult, but it is critical for your overall success and mental health. This guide has explained the best ways to maintain school and work-life balance as an international student, details the common challenges working students face, and also provides tips on how to manage your time and responsibilities.