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According to a recent report by Statistics Canada, 49% of youth aged 15 to 24 work part time, with the top reason for working being “going to school” (73%). When you consider the rising costs of tuition, it’s no wonder that so many students choose to work part-time to cover expenses.  

But balancing school and work can be tricky. When your responsibilities are pulling you in opposite directions, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Add to that the pressure to perform academically, the weight of deciding your future career, and keeping important relationships tended to, and it’s easy to find yourself spiraling into a stress pit.  

Whether you are already working part-time while studying or are considering it, we’ve compiled three tips to make it a little easier.

Tip 1


Find yourself a calendar that works for you and use it. You can go retro and get yourself an old-fashioned paper agenda or use an app on your phone. It doesn’t really matter which method you choose, just choose one. Plot out your school deadlines and your work schedule. Plan ahead for last-minute study sessions and block off more study time than you think you’ll need. Plan for the unexpected. This will help you feel more in control.

Find the right balance between your work and your study commitments by considering your unique study-style. Are you a slow and steady tortoise who prefers writing notes in the library, or are you more of a flashcard-carrying commuter? The important thing is to be realistic. Think about your personality and your priorities – and develop a plan to make it all work.

PLan 2

Find the Right Fit

Find a part-time job that fits you and your needs. Make effective workplace communication a priority. You’ll be managing a lot, so you’ll need to feel supported. If you know ahead of time that there may be a few weeks out of the year when you’ll need reduced hours, be upfront about that as soon as possible. In turn, offer to be available for more hours or show you’re willing to take on more responsibility during times when things wind down at school.

PLan 3


Once you settle on what’s most important to you, learn to live with the fact that some things will inevitably fall by the wayside. There will be things that you’ll have to deprioritize or straight-up say no to. Accept the FOMO and move on. There will be other parties.

We’ll leave you with one final thought. Remember why you’re doing this. You have goals, and you’ve committed to them. That being said, if you’re finding it difficult to manage stress levels, or if you think you’re experiencing signs of burnout, then take a pause and reprioritize. Don’t forget to go outside. Take breaks. Sleep well. Drink water. Call your parents or an adult you love and trust. Tell them how you feel. Ask for help. Focus on being your happiest and healthiest self.