Work, College, and Life: How to Do it All and Stay Sane!

About this article
Effective time management skills are particularly important for college students, whose life is filled with work, classes, study sessions and more. This article provides tips for balancing everything without completely losing your mind!
View available schools

You know the drill. You head straight from class to a five-hour shift working in a local restaurant or store. You get home and shower with just enough time to study for tomorrow's huge history exam, when your roommate swings by to invite you to what's sure to be the best party of the year. You're in a bind. You need sleep, but it's so tempting.

College is a balancing act. It provides students with the opportunity to learn in academic, professional and social realms. Maybe you need to pick up extra shifts to pay for school or you're taking an extra large course load this semester or quarter. Maybe your friendships are just as important to you and you really don't want to blow off your friends. You can, however, make sure that you are spending your time as best you can under the given circumstances. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Write everything down in a planner

Assignments, work schedules and parties - everything. You don't want to bomb your Calc quiz because you forgot, do you?

2. Set priorities

Most students attend college to improve their career or earning potential down the line. Others, however, go for the whole social college student experience. Don't live in the now - set up a five year plan. Once you know where you want to go, it's easier to decide what you have to do now to make that happen. Knowing you'll improve your chances of becoming the doctor or engineer you always wanted to be may be more important than the so-called 'Party of the Year.'

3. All work and no play

Whatever cheesy cliche works best for you, the message is the same. Too much of anything is never good. Schedule some personal time into your planner. Catch up on sleep, read a book or visit your family. Even a few short hours a week can make a tremendous impact on your overall disposition and will make buckling down during crucial social or academic periods much easier.

4. Be organized

Remember that planner from step one? You can only benefit from it if you know where it is. And if school is your priority, studying will be near impossible if you lose your textbooks. Keep everything organized - your room, your car, your book bag...everything.

5. Be healthy

Eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly can relieve much of the stress your hectic schedule causes. It also prevents you from getting sick, and most students will tell you that missing a few classes or work shifts due to illness can be difficult to recover from. Take care of yourself, no matter how busy you are.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA: Criminal Justice
      • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
      • BA: Liberal Studies
      • BA: Psychology
      • BA: Psychology - General
      • BS: Computer Science
    Associate's
      • AA: Criminal Justice
      • AA: Liberal Arts
      • AA: Business Administration
      • AA: Information Technology
      • AA: Cybersecurity
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
      • Business Administration, MBA
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Advanced Accounting
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Health Care Administration
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Leadership
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • Communication Studies, B.A.
      • Criminal Justice, B.S.
      • Psychology, B.S.
      • Psychology, B.S. - Emphasis in Biblical Studies
      • Accounting, B.S.
      • Business Administration, B.S.
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
      • Psychology, A.S.
      • Communication Studies, A.A.
      • General Studies, A.A.
      • Business Administration, A.S.
      • Health Care Administration, A.S.
  • Online Programs Available
    3. The University of Texas at Arlington

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Administration
      • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Educaiton
    Bachelor's
      • RN to BSN
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
    Master's
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
    Associate's
      • AASBA in Business
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
  • Campus and Online Programs
    5. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Film Production
      • MS - Game Design (Campus)
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
      • M.S. - New Media Journalism
      • Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
      • M.S. - Public Relations
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
      • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
      • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
      • BS - Creative Writing for Entertainment (Campus)
      • BS - Film (Campus)
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
    Certificate
      • Cert - Instructional Design and Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA - Management
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
      • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction
      • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    Master's
      • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
      • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • MS in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology: General Psychology
      • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Psychology
      • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
      • BS in Early Childhood
      • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
  • Online Programs Available
    7. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
      • Master of Arts in Economics
      • Master of Public Administration and Policy
      • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
      • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Queens University of Charlotte

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication - General
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Integrated Digital Strategy Concentration
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Undecided
      • Master of Business Administration - Finance
      • Master of Business Administration - General
      • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
  • Campus Locations:
    9. Universal Technical Institute

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Collision Repair and Refinish Technology
      • Marine Technician Specialist
      • Diesel Technology
      • Motorcycle Technician Specialist
      • Automotive Technology
      • NASCAR Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    10. The University of Scranton

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA - Healthcare Management
      • MBA - Accounting
      • MBA - Human Resources
      • MBA - International Business
      • MBA - Operations Management
      • Master of Accountancy

Featured Schools

Saint Leo University

  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
  • AA: Criminal Justice
  • AA: Liberal Arts

What is your highest level of education completed?

Colorado Christian University

  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Communication Studies, B.A.
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

The University of Texas at Arlington

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Educaiton
  • RN to BSN

What is your highest level of education completed?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AASBA in Business

Which subject are you interested in?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
  • Cert - Instructional Design and Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

American University

  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
  • Master of Arts in Economics

What is your highest level of education?

Queens University of Charlotte

  • Master of Arts in Communication - General
  • Master of Arts in Communication - Integrated Digital Strategy Concentration
  • Master of Arts in Communication - Undecided

What is your highest level of education completed?