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How to juggle work & study without Burning Out

Blog // How to Juggle Work & Study Without Burning Out

By Charleson Agustin

Having a source of income during DPT school may be a dream for you, but dividing time between studying, being in class, mental health, family, more studying, friends, sleep, and even more studying; I know how hard it can be especially when others say “it’s a bad idea”. Needless to say, when I started working my second semester of DPT school, my professors disapproved. Despite all of their worries about my grades potentially dropping, as well as my sanity, I’ve been able to work two jobs and make a side business while still balancing the course load, taking on the role as President of our cohort, volunteering, and looking out for my own health. Here’s my take on how to juggle all the things you want to do and still thrive as a physical therapy student!

Mash Two Or Three Potatoes With One Fork

The analogy “killing two birds with one stone” is a little violent in my opinion, but in any case, you have to be cognizant of your time and be as efficient as you can. When the large wave of exams start coming, instead of separating work time and study time, try to find jobs that allow you to study during the slow parts of your shift! The perfect place would be to work on campus as your managers would know how tough school can be and they sometimes expect you to study during the slow days at the job. For me, becoming a tutor was my safe haven to make money through undergrad and my first two years of PT school. But making side money with on-campus jobs isn’t limited to just tutoring. Working at the campus gym or becoming a receptionist can also be potential options!

If there’s not a time where you can study and work, find a job that can be used as an active study break! Jobs like dog walking, baby sitting, and coaching are all good ways to make money while doing something you love; plus it’s a good way to get your mind off studying without taking too much time away from your day.

If time commitment is still an issue, turn your notes into something more artful and let your creativity lead to revenue! The best way I study is with visuals, which meant my main stack of notes for anatomy was basically a sketch book. With the magic of a $30 knock-off Apple pen, an iPad, and an app called Procreate I was able to turn my notes into a sticker business I run on Etsy!

I’m sure we’ve all made a laundry list of pros and cons about working during school, but the one thing that stands out amongst the pro-work side for me is the forced need to structure and organize my time. I am not the type of person to always stick to due dates that I make for myself if I know I can change it without repercussion… But with a work schedule, it definitely helped me set clear boundaries of when I can relax and when I need to get things done.

Working and studying doesn’t have to be a hassle. It could actually be beneficial and even help facilitate good study habits! Just make sure to be confident with the choice you make and ease your way into working. Take these tips into consideration when you start your next side hustle!

Pro tip #1: If you decide to work somewhere that requires you to drive, turn your notes into audiobooks by voice recording yourself talking through them presentation style! Just like any overplayed song, with enough listens through, it’s likely to get stuck in your head.

Pro tip #2: Before starting any job, always be realistic with how much time you want to give them. It’s easier to add hours to a work schedule than it is to ask for a reduction in my opinion. A good number I would aim for is starting out 8 hours/week and increasing it to a maximum of 10 hours/week.

Good luck! Study smarter, not harder and make that side money!

Find me on Etsy and Instagram @AgustinMotion

Written by Charelson Agustin, SPT, CMT, CSCS

Cohort President, Year of 2022 California State University, USA

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