Studies and work – mission possible?
What is more important in life – work or studies? This is one of the most common questions when it comes to deciding whether to start studying when you already have a job or if you still need to find one. Dominyka Sriubiškytė, a student of English and International Communication, openly and insightfully shares the discoveries that helped her to balance her studies and work. Study coordinator Jūratė Butvilė comments on the flexibility of our studies and their adaptability to each student.
I’ve just come back after a day at work. I even took off early so I could finish all my assignments. I have fifty minutes or so to upload my work, so the answer to the question of whether studying and work are mission possible depends on it.
I’m joking a little. However, I can answer right away. Believe me, this mission is doable. I am only relying on my own experience. Many people I know would say something completely different: “You can’t split in half, you have to choose, you can’t cover everything, you’ll end up overworked, you still have time for this…”. And maybe they are right, but my experience and my perception tell me something else: you don’t even know what you are capable of until you are on the edge, until you simply don’t have the freedom to choose. I tell myself that I do not have it. I don’t let that inner miss keep distracting me from my work, because I know that she will always choose what is simpler, easier and more pleasant. In my opinion, some of the worst things that can happen to a person are self-pity and a sense of victimhood. Of course, there are limits to everything. It is normal to feel sorry for yourself sometimes, but you have to make sure that it does not take up too much of your life and that it does not become a routine.
I’ve been working since I was ten years old. All summer long. I had a so-called gap year when I finished school. I also worked during that time. I enrolled to college and, you won’t believe it, I’m still working! And I think I’m doing quite well in my studies! Now I became thoughtful… I wonder, if I didn’t work now, would I do as well in my studies as I do now? Would I be able to get my work done on time from being idle? This is a paradox. Of course, it’s very individual but knowing myself, I dare to doubt it.
When you’re a working person, you know your schedule, your working days, your working hours and when or what you can have time to do in between. That is the magic. The regime, the agenda, the to-do list, the planning and sticking to it. Voila! You won’t believe how much you can do in one day. Download an app to track how much time you spend on social media and then answer yourself if you really don’t have time for studying or working. Try tracking how much time per week you spend talking about how tired you are, how you’re not getting anything done and how you’re oh so sure you won’t be able to do it. I am not trying to bite as I am painfully familiar with this myself. When I started my studies, I realized that it wasn’t about the lack of time but that I chose not to do it, even though I was working. That way I put a little pressure on myself. How are you not able to find half an hour in your day to read or to analyze it? Then, on the second day, another half-hour? Finally, you will have a good chunk of time spent reading books. You can read and listen while you are driving to work, lying in the bath, walking the dog or waiting for the bus.
All it takes is one slow morning for yourself, one calmer evening and after taking some rest you’ll be able to pull yourself together and you’ll find yourself whispering that you can. You can and you will. You will make it; you will finish your bachelor’s degree and then you’ll pat yourself on the back for it. You’ll grow, you’ll gain experience at work, you’ll develop, and it’ll all be worth it in the long run.
All your effort, every self-demand will bear its fruit sooner or later. All you have to do is wait it out, concentrate and, above all, believe in what you are doing and know why you are doing it.
Comment by Study Coordinator Jūratė Butvilė
There are many successful stories in our college where students can combine their studies, work and personal life. However, situations in life vary and when we see that it becomes difficult for a student to study, let’s say, full-time, the study coordinators come to help. Depending on the course and if the student has assignments that are not accounted for, we help them to successfully choose another form of study (e.g., part-time, with lectures on Saturdays) and to continue their studies. Another situation is if a student wants to continue studying full-time but cannot attend certain lectures because they are working. They will then join a group of students studying another study format, where they can successfully attend lectures, account for assignments and pass the exam.
The most important point is that in the event of personal or professional problems, the student is not left alone with the question of what to do with his studies: continue or quit? The solution is simple: contact your study coordinator, who will individually arrange the student’s schedule. The best option is chosen for each case. We have plenty of examples of how those who really want to combine their studies with work or a change in their life circumstances have successfully done so.