My entire freshman year my parents emphasized the importance of school and how I didn't need a job because school was the number-one priority.
I went along with it, but after the summer-job-money started slowly disappearing and it was time to ask my parents for money, as if I was in middle school and going to the mall with some friends, I couldn't bring myself to. Yes, they're happy to provide and it's, "my job as your mother," but it still wasn't a good feeling.
Plus, I shop way more than I should.
So, now a sophomore, I was determined to get a job and learn to manage both school and work, while still prioritizing my education.
As predicted, not an easy feat, by far. However, it's very important to understand that you should only get a job somewhere that understands that you're in school and should be flexible with hours. That way, you're able to begin a routine.
Now, my routine may not be what works for you, but it's finally starting to work for me. I have always been the kind of person that liked getting early starts to my day but was never motivated enough to wake up earlier than necessary for class. Now, I work the early morning shift and have to get out of bed and start my day hours before most.
This way, by noon, I have worked a couple of hours and am now sitting in the library catching up on school work until my classes actually begin.
Now, this took me forever to figure out and learn to balance. At first, I was overwhelmed because I was used to doing my homework whenever I wanted to, usually late at night. Now, I force myself to start assignments ahead of time so that I don't stay up so late and can manage to get some sleep. I've even started doing assignments in between classes instead of napping or hanging out. It's different, but not awful.
After all, school is the number one priority.
It does have it's downsides, though. I am not confident in how much of a heavy sleeper I am and have had to sacrifice parties and going out with friends the night before a shift because I want to ensure I make it to said shift. However, by planning ahead or even planning to give myself a break, I can ask ahead for some mornings off and have my needed social time.
So yes, you can have it all — the social life, the study time and the hustle.
It's not for everyone, but for those who feel like they should get a job but are worried they won't be able to handle it, test it. The least you can do is only work specific dates (mornings, weekends, etc.) and make a little bit of cash on the side so you don't have to be completely dependent on summer-job funds or your parents.
I know, becoming an adult is quite disheartening. But think about it, getting your own money and becoming a little more independent will feel really good.