If you survived your primary and secondary education like a walk in the park, you better think twice about how you are going to approach college or tertiary education.
While college life means more independence, it also means more responsibilities. At this point in your life, you will be expected to make your own decisions.
One of the most important decisions you are going to make is whether or not you will take out a student loan to go to college.
According to a recent survey, while citizens of Malta enjoy free undergraduate courses, this is not always the case when it comes to higher courses.
And, even if college education is free, you still have your living expenses to think of.
Those who enroll in colleges in other countries are not so lucky since they have to take out college loans and pay for it later on.
With the increasing cost of college education, students who come from families with average incomes have no choice but to become working students to earn their degrees.
Benefits of Working While Studying
Working while getting your college education is not easy. Working students will tell you the many sacrifices they have to make in order to make both ends meet.
Despite the difficulties, most of them will attest to the many benefits of working while enrolled in university.
One of the main reasons why students work while getting their education is the need to bolster their finances. While working students do not earn much, the money they get from their part-time jobs helped them survive college with lesser student loans compared to those who relied solely on student loans.
Working during college may seem challenging, but it also can offer advantages. These benefits include avoiding (as much) debt, gaining job experience, learning time management skills, improving your GPA, and getting healthcare benefits.
Those who work while in college have learned to make the most of the limited time they have through time management.
The ability to balance the time spent studying and working will come in handy at any time in your life, most especially when you become a full-time member of the labor force. Time management is a skill that requires much discipline.
Once you learn this skill, it will become an invaluable asset in your career.
When you work while in college, you gain enough professional work experience to help you land that much-coveted job when you graduate.
Most new graduates are not able to land jobs immediately after the graduate because most employers still favor those with experience.
You can always add your work experience in your resume as this will give you an edge over the other applicants.
Challenges For Working Students
Those who work while in college learn to cope with the many challenges of becoming a working student. For one, the time you spend working can leave you dry, too tired and sleepy to study.
However, you need to muster up enough determination to be able to pull this off until you graduate.
Working while studying is not an assurance that you will be financially independent. For one, you cannot even expect to get a reasonable salary when working part time.
You can still be saddled with student debts once you graduate, although not as much as those who relied solely on loans.
One of the most common challenges faced by working students is their ability to lose focus because of fatigue. And if you stretch yourself beyond your physical capacity, then you may be faced with a health problem later on.
You just have to find a job that will not be too strenuous given your class schedule.
How to Balance Your Work and Studies
There is a need to balance your work and your studies if you want to succeed in both. If you have skills then it will be easy to find a job that will pay you more than just waiting on tables.
This means you can get the additional money you need without slaving away and spending so many sleepless nights.
A job that is related to your course will also be beneficial to you since it will add up to your work experience.
No matter how much you earn, you can still be faced with a deficit in your finances if you do not know how to budget what you have.
You just have to tighten your belt and spend your salary on necessities such as your tuition and living allowance.
But more than the finances, you have to make sure that you also find the time to study your lessons and complete your requirements.
Working while studying can be difficult but if you find the right balance then you will be able to survive in one piece.