Secrets to success: how to handle working and studying

Posted on Posted in Student life

In a previous post, we discussed how to work while studying, in the Netherlands. We  also gave a few tips on how to find part-time jobs or internships. However, a lot of you may wonder how to handle working and studying at the same time.

We are not here to tell you lies. IT WON’T BE EASY. But, it will be worth it and it will help, most of all, build your character. However, you will not only become a stronger person, in fact you will also learn a lot of skills- useful for you CV.

For all these reasons, and because we have all been student struggling to make some money while studying, we want to give you a few useful tips on how to handle working and studying. But we won’t tell you the typical: “sleep more, drink less”. We know you do not have much time to sleep when you both work and study.


How to handle working and studying: a few tips

  1. Study when sleepy: NOT KIDDING! Studies have shown that studying right before going to bed (meaning when you feel like you cannot handle it anymore) apparently helps you remember things. It seems that the brain uses and elaborates the last information acquired before sleeping better. Therefore, although you may be super tired after having worked and gone to class the whole day, try to leave one hour to read some stuff before going to bed. Please do it, and let me know if that works for you!
  2.  Drink it up: no, we don’t mean alcohol. That definitely does not help. But COFFEE! Yes! Even in this case, research has shown that coffee effectively helps your brain work better and stay away. It also facilitates remembering things. If you are both working and studying you will need a lot so, just go for it! However, together with that, try to drink a lot of water. Coffee tends to dehydrate you, so you need to drink water to balance. Also, water makes your skin looks nicer and it fills your stomach which means…less junk food and snacks while stuying 🙂
  3. Meditate: being able to handle working and studying requires a lot of strenght and some meditation, yes! You may feel overwhelmed sometimes, it’s ok, you are not machines. However, a secret to cope with this is closing your eyes, breathing deeply for a few seconds and focusing. We won’t tell you to go to yoga, cause yes, you do not have time for thart. However, you do not need a professional mat or a yoga teacher to guide you. Just sit on the floor (but your chair is also good) and slowly inhale and exhale. The good thing is that you can do it both if you are at work or at home and it will help, a lot! You don’t believe me? Once you have finish reading this post try it and then leave a comment on how you feel 😉 And to be more specific follow these steps (this trick was told by a thesis supervisor to her students, so she knew what she was talking about):
    • breath in for 4 seconds;
    • hold your breath for 8 seconds
    • exhale
    • repeat three times
  4. Set priorities: you cannot do everything every day. And you cannot do everything at the best of your potential every time. So, set your priorities and decide what is really worth focusing on that day. You have an assignment due in four days? Maybe you may ask for a day off from work or for a substitution. Or you may decide to tell you best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, whateverfriend, that you cannot go to sushi on Saturday. I know sushi is illegaly delicious, but you need to hand in that paper on Monday. Sushi can wait, your boy/girl/friend can too. Your professor or you boss will not.
  5. Stay motivated: if you are doing what your are doing now, if you are studying that thing, if you are in a foreign country, there must be a reason. Something must have pushed you there and it is not destiny, it’s YOU! You have worked hard to get here, you have made a plan. You have pictured your future and you are trying your best to achieve it. REPEAT THIS TO YOURSELF. Tell yourself why you are doing this, there, now. Write a post it and put it in front of your desk, so everytime you take your head away from the PC you will see it. Or write it in your bathroom’s mirror (I did it!). So, every morning when you wake up, you will be reminding yourself why you are where you are. But also, praise yourself and tell yourself: I CAN DO THIS! Or better, if you write in the mirror: YOU CAN DO IT! As if your mirror was talking to you. Because remember: MOTIVATION is the key!

You will get so many skills

As a matter of fact, learning how to handle working and studying will make you a stronger person, more responsible, more confident. It will provide you with the following qualities, so much loved by recruiters:

  • time management skills- you will get vey good at this.
  • self-confidence- not everybody would be able to work while studying. So, you are awesome and you know it!
  • ability to handle stress- well, you know!
  • group work- sometimes you cannot do it alone. You need the help of other people, your colleagues, your classmates, to be successful. Remember that time you asked for a substitution and your friend took your place at work? Now, it’s your turn, cause he also has an assignment to hand in.
  • resilience- you are not giving up, even when everything seems to go bad, even when you are so tired that you would faint. You are still there and you have no intention to quit.
  • goal-oriented- you know why you are doing this. You know what you want and you are doing everything you can to obtain it.
  • ability to handle responsibilities- both towards your classmates and your colleagues at work. You are handling different situations and different environments and you don’t let anyone down.