As a 22 year working university student, I believe there is a misconception that surrounds the idea of working and studying at the same time. In fact, students who work and study at the same time are used to enjoying the most of everything in their life. They have a chance to get the experience and exposure from their work environment and at the same time get an education.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy working and studying at the same time either. It requires, discipline and commitment. As fruitful as the experience may be, it is still one of the toughest things I have done in my life.

However, I recommend every student try it before graduating. Especially in a city where comfort is preferred, we rarely put ourselves in situations where we have to test our limits. Working and studying allows you to do just that along with appreciating time and money. It makes you value time and helps you take a sneak peek into working life along with teaching you how to manage your money.

Through my ongoing journey, I have learned a few things. Below are a few lessons or suggestions for students similar to me, who wish to venture into my world as a working student.

Ability to manage time

Considering the time as the most valuable asset in your life. Students who work should set up a daily or weekly plan to ensure that they are ahead of time for all their daily studies. Other commitments also need to be factored in, such as family, friends, and sports. After all you don’t want to isolated yourself from the outside world. All work and no play will drive you up the wall.

Students should also know that they might have to give up a few of their weekends or occasional holidays in order to follow up with their syllabus and compete with other full time students. On the bright side, once you graduate, you have a head start on these full time students who didn’t work while studying.

Also if you manage your time efficiently, you won’t have to miss out on the fun stuff during the weekend. For example, I usually spend couple of hours on Friday and Saturday morning catching up on my studies. This gives me the chance to have my evenings free and time for commitments such as family, religious observation, sport, friends, and other activities.

Reward your self

It’s as simple as setting a goal and rewarding yourself when you achieve it. Challenging yourself has its benefits. To increase motivation, use some of the money you are making and treat yourself every time you reach a goal. Whether it is a good grade you got or a project completed at work, make sure you enjoy that money after a job well done.  By set goals or challenges you also rid yourself of the monotonous life of school and work.

It’s all about the money

There is nothing more liberating that having financial dependency. Students who work can bear all their cost and expenses and have full independence if they plan their finances correctly. They also have the ability to help give back to their families by reducing their financial burdens. Especially here in the UAE lots of people suffering from paying hefty tuitions to get their kids an education, takes its toll on the family budget. Therefore a great way to contribute towards the family budget is to take responsibility of one of the expense. For example, depending on how much you make at work, allot a certain amount to paying for the monthly groceries or a chunk of your tuition.

Besides giving back to you family, also account for your own personal expenses and savings. It’s easy to get carried away with the income you make as it’s your first time getting a regular pay check. But be smart about it from the get go. Open an account, set a pre decided amount aside which you will save and keep some for personal expenses.

Think about it, by the time you graduate you would already have a good amount of saving. Who knows probably enough to buy a car or even move out.

Full time students missing out an important ingredient which is the work experience. Usually students who work observed an added value to their education, by providing them with real-life insights and examples. Even if your work and your major are completely unrelated, work is still providing you with the skills of prioritizing, managing, balancing tasks, time-management and much more.

Working while studying can end up being an invaluable experience, one we should not miss out on.