I joined KINSHIP digital in my last semester at university. At first taking on this role seemed like a daunting commitment however, I also saw it as a great opportunity. With that being said, I started working 4 days a week whilst I attended university 1 day a week.
The semester started like every other semester with me being highly motivated, organised and ready to get the best marks possible. With the coherent work/study balance I was able to turn in polished assignments and keep up to date with most things. However, like every other semester the workload continuously increased and my motivation started to slowly plateau. My mentality of getting a distinction slowly turned into me thinking, “I only need 63% in this test to get a credit and a credit’s good enough . . . right?”
I had to change my mentality and shift my thinking because that attitude doesn’t result in the improvement of myself. The hardest thing about studying whilst working is that yes, university only took me one day of the week, but that day only included the lectures which ranged from 9 am- 5 pm. All the external studies had to be done in my own time at night or on the weekends and I found it extremely hard to find a work/life balance. This could also be attributed to the ‘P’ word…….PROCRASTINATION. Procrastination contributed to me staying in on weekends to complete assignments that I didn’t do at night during the week or vice versa.
Reflecting back on my experience the best advice I would give students juggling studies and a career is:
- It’s all about balance: The old saying, “You can do a test again, but you can’t relive a party,” might be theoretically true however, how many tests do you really want to sit through? With good time management skills and a good plan in place, there is no reason why you can’t study hard, work hard and enoy yourself at the same time.
- Stop procrastination: Erase this ‘P’ word from your vocabulary. Set a clear calendar with set times for each activity, base it on priorities and stick to it! This self-discipline doesn’t come easy but in the famous words of Nike, “Just do it!”
- Be present: When you’re working, think only about work. When you’re studying, think only about studying. When you’re enjoying time with friends, think only about that moment.
Another critical factor is working for an organisation that understands the hardships of balancing university with a career. With KINSHIP digital’s warming culture and the amazing people that attribute to it, I felt supported. During crunch times the senior team allowed for ample study days and were conscience of my workload and avoiding unnecessary stress. This on the surface may not seem like a lot but trust me this meant a lot to me as a student and an employee. Instead of being in a state of extreme stress I was able to recollect my thoughts and focus on being present.
At the end of the day I was able to finish university and work at the same time. If I can do it you can do it too! It’s about balance, motivation, being present, thinking about the long-term goal and ultimately finding an organisation that supports your needs. Sometimes it’s hard combining all these ingredients, but the juggle is all worth it in the end. Thank you, KINSHIP for giving me this opportunity and believing that I can do it.
Look at me now: a recently graduated student with no more essays to submit ever again (unless I decide to do a Masters). With valuable work experience gained on top of a degree, it’s a double whammy!
Everything is achievable with the right mindset.