Unsolicited Senior Advice: Balancing work and life

Ryan Lynch’s weekly column tackles not messing up in college like he did. This week: living with a 9-to-5 job.


Ryan Lynch. Photo courtesy of Mohammed F. Emran

Ryan Lynch, Business Manager

At some point, your job and freetime will force you to choose between the two. And in college, it can never be as simple as just doing one or the other.


I’ve worked multiple writing jobs while going to school and attempted to have a social life. It is not fun or easy, but I have to do it to afford tuition.


Most students are in the same boat, but it doesn’t have to suck. Here are some lessons to prevent your life balance from tipping over.


Be Organized


Keeping track of all your work and personal life through meticulous scheduling is one of the easiest ways to get a lot of work done.


Buying a planner or using your phone calendar makes it easy to be organized and know when all of your to-do items are coming. It sure beats writing on my hands like I used to do.


Will plans sometimes change? Of course. But with something to plan with, you can more easily move your life around.


Work your Ass Off in the Summer


Getting a job or two during the summer can help you out all year.


As someone who worked two jobs for a time during summer break, being able to bankroll paychecks gave me extra money to use in the Fall months. On top of that, it also helped me manage monetary stress during the school year.


First examine how much responsibility you’ll have and try to find a part-time position that will give you plenty of hours. That way, you’ll still have a summer break to go with your money.


Make the Most of Your Sleep


Sometimes it can be hard to find enough time to sleep the full eight hours. Your job, school, and friends all demand your time without, it seems, any intermission.


When I’d have tests, I would stay in the Wimberly Library until 2 a.m. studying. Add in coffee, and I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all.


That’s why it’s important to get some solid sleep during your time in college. I’ve had plenty of days where I could have been more alert if I didn’t go to bed at the buttcrack of dawn.


The best thing to do is make sure you have days where you get a full night of sleep. Also, don’t sleep with your phone, as the light messes up your internal clock. Tinder can wait for tomorrow…

Ryan Lynch is the business manager of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @RyanLynchwriter.