Written by Ella Lloyd

The struggle is real.

Balancing a part-time job alongside part-time study can be a complete nightmare. Especially when deadlines are jumping out at you left, right and centre.

Sometimes it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You can be; stressed, unmotivated and sleep-deprived. Trying to juggle a part-time job whilst you have a million and one other assignments to do, can make you feel like you’re drowning.

Long shifts at work provide an income to live, which you need to survive. Yet your degree is worth your whole future. A better job, better future income and a lifelong career. However, the factor of time becomes an issue. Surely there aren’t enough hours in one day to juggle work, studies, sleep and actually have a social life.

It is common to feel like you are failing. How do you prioritise your work and studies?

There is no real correct answer to this question. We are all different and have our own different ways of coping and organising ourselves.

Throughout the last three years of studying at De Monfort University, I have worked part-time on the basis of a twenty-hour contract, whilst also attending every lecture and seminar on my timetable. 

There have been times in the past when work has taken priority over studying. There have been days where I’ve worked a 9-6 shift and headed straight to the library to study once I’d finished. I wouldn’t leave that library until 5 am sometimes. 

I’m quite lucky in the sense where my boss can be very lenient and understanding, However, I know that this is not the case for everybody. My boss will encourage me to continue with my studies and understands that University is my priority. As it should be. 

To many companies, as employees, we are merely just a number. We can easily be replaced. Although we may be close to our co-workers, they are not the people who are responsible for our well-being and best interests. This should be our employees. And I emphasise the word ‘should’ because they should, but most do not support us on a personal level. 

You may feel pressured to work shifts that do not fit in with your personal schedule; you may feel anxious about asking your boss to change or remove a shift. If you do feel this way, just remember that studying is your future and should be your main focus. Don’t be bullied into doing something that affects your mental well-being.

Try sketching up some form of schedule for your week. This can be easier when your shifts are in a regular pattern but can still be done regardless. You can organise your study, work and sleep time. Make sure you leave some time to socialise too. 

Getting a good nights sleep is key. Feeling tired can only worsen how you feel and corrupt your motivation when it comes to a heavy workload. 

Life is all about having fun, but personally I limit myself to nights out drinking. Dependent on an occasion and/or deadline, I tend to focus my mind solely on work for the first three weeks of the month. I can treat myself to a night out with friends at the end of the month. 

I genuinely believe that balancing all the factors in your life have major importance to maintaining a healthy organisation of your time. 

If you are struggling, I would recommend talking to friends and family about how you are feeling.