Alright doing everything isn’t easy by any means, but it isn’t impossible and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want a life where I’m taking advantage of all the opportunities that are put in front of me. I’m currently working at the customer service desk for my university’s gym, I work for facilities on campus taking care of all the sports fields and lastly I work as a student manager of operations at the basketball arena for my university’s basketball and wrestling teams. On top of that I’m a full-time college student and enjoy hanging out with my friends. However, for those who are taking on their first job while still in college or for those like me, all these tips still apply.
1. Stay organized, stay organized, stay organized
I can’t stress this enough! I know you’re thinking well I have a calendar or a planner so I’m good, but that’s not enough. Get a calendar that you will walk by and see EVERY DAY. I have a big whiteboard calendar that I copy everything from my planner onto so I can see what the month looks like. Get a planner that you will use and check EVERY DAY. Use it for school, work and appointments so you can see your week ahead and check things off as you go. Use either your phone or computer’s reminder systems. I have sticky notes that are on the desktop of my computer that has important dates and reminders for tests, meetings and various other things. This seems repetitive and pointless to have all three, but it’s proven the more you write it down and the more often you see important things on various mediums, the more likely you are to remember.
2. Finding a Balance
There are only so many hours in a day and only so many that I can physical and mentally function for. Being able to balance work, school and friends is a tough thing to start doing when you’ve been able to do whatever you want whenever you wanted too. First thing for me was school. My class schedule doesn’t revolve around my jobs, my jobs revolve around school. I purposely made my schedule with breaks between classes to allow for homework, eating and relaxing. Then I set a schedule between my bosses and a limit of hours I can work between my three jobs or I would explode. I average 20 hours a week with exceptions for special events where I may go over slightly. Luckily 2/3 jobs I work with my best friends so my social life gets to overlap with work which is ideal. If you aren’t so lucky, set a time every week to have a weekly dinner or go to a football game with everyone every time they’re in town. Having something guaranteed every week makes it go faster and gives you something to look forward to throughout the week.
3. NO means NO
This is by far the hardest part for me. I’m such a people-pleaser that it’s hard for me to say no when a boss needs me. I hate letting people down or making them feel like they can't rely on me to be there. However, I’ve learned my lesson that you have to know your maximum and be confident in saying when you get there to your employer. They’re human too and most are more than understanding about giving what you need. They want you at your absolute best and if you know you’re not going to be able to give it, there’s nothing wrong with tapping out. If you enjoy watching your favorite TV show every Tuesday, tell them you can’t work then. It is okay for you lay down some of your own rules and have your time when you need it.
4. Enjoy it!
It’ not fair to yourself if you’re going to work or class and making yourself miserable because you don’t enjoy it. There are classes that you will have to take that you dread, but if there are classes you thought you’d be interested in that turn out to be not up your alley, make the change! Same goes for your job(s). Sure there will be tasks you don’t like doing, but if you’re trying to find excuses not to go because you truly don’t enjoy it, leave. Be somewhere that you look forward to going and where you grow as a person and professional. You’re in charge of your happiness, don’t give that up.
I’m learning life skills like managerial skills, customer service, problem-solving, time management and so much more by taking on so much. There’s no one way to do everything and it varies for everyone. Just always be aware of what you want and if that means taking on a big load then do what you can to make it work. Don’t push yourself too hard and remember that it’s your life; live it how you want.