Living the Full Time Hustle: Surviving School, Work & Life


By: Kylie Ham 


I’ve been working full time (Normally two to three jobs at a time,) my entire college career. While at UMSL I have discovered that many of my peers are in the same boat. Having such a full schedule can be pretty difficult at times, so I thought I would share some of the things that have really helped me over the past few years as a UMSL Business student. 

Using My Planner 

A planner is a must-have. I have learned to use mine every day. It feels like my whole life is contained within the pages of my planner. Each week I write down my school schedule, work schedule, meetings, along with any other plans or appointments that I have for the week. Also in my planner, I have my personal finances worked out, with bills due and paydays written out. At the beginning of the semester when I receive the syllabi from my classes, I spend a little bit of time writing down all of my due dates for assignments and tests for the entire semester. It makes me feel so much better-having everything written down and organized in one place. I can open up my planner and see everything that I have planned and need to get done for the week. This way, nothing gets overlooked or forgotten. I am an advocate pen and paper type of person and like to have everything written down, for other people they may prefer using their phone as a planner. Using a mobile calendar has a huge benefit of having alerts being sent to you so it’s more difficult to forget something that must get done. You will also be able to bring it with you anywhere you go.

Crossing It Off

Along with my planner, I LOVE checklists. Marking things off makes me feel so accomplished and keeps me motivated. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, I take a step back and write a couple of to-do lists. I keep my school and home to-do list separate. For school, I will write down in order what assignments I need to get done along with the due date and what class it is for. For home, I will write down what I need to get accomplished in order of importance. Once I get a task completed and get to put a checkmark next to it, I feel a little bit of peace return to my life.

Taking Five… Or Ten! 

Everything gets to be very chaotic and overwhelming at times. For me, keeping my house clean has always been a struggle. I don’t know about you, but when my space is cluttered or a mess, it throws me all out of whack. A long time ago I read about a method of setting a timer for a short period of time and getting everything possible accomplished during this time and then being finished. When I feel like I have so much school work, housework, work work, and other things piling up, plus my house is a disaster is messing with my head, I use this method. I will set a ten-minute timer on my phone and then either; clean up my room, unload and load the dishwasher, wipe down the bathroom, sweep or vacuum the floors, or whatever else needs to be done. You will be so surprised when you see how much you can get done in such a small amount of time. Some people do not like this method because it makes them feel rushed or stressed. For me, I am always happy that I spent that time doing something productive rather than spending that time on social media or something else. Even that one task that gets completed makes me feel so relieved.

The Hustle Struggle 

College students have it really rough sometimes. Balancing school, work, health, fitness, a social life, and home life can be more than difficult. At times it will feel like you are failing and that you cannot possibly complete it all, but that’s okay. You have to prioritize, but you must know that your mental health is the most important- Every. Single. Time. Each week schedule at least an hour or two just to yourself. Do something that will make you happy and help you relax. Do some yoga, take your dog for a walk, go out to eat with friends, watch a show on Netflix. Whatever you need to do. Know yourself and be able to recognize when everything is becoming too much for you. It’s okay to take a mental health day; everyone needs a break sometimes. Everything will work out in the end.

Go ahead and give these strategies a shot! Do you have any tips that help you get through the semester? I’d love to hear them!