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You grow as a working student by letting go. Letting go means taking the time to release activities which no longer serve you as you become busier. Working for 20 hours or more weekly while shouldering 12 or more credits can place taxing demands on you and your schedule. Some days you might do nothing other than work, study, attend classes and commute between your job and place of study. These are the sacrifices you must make in order to succeed with your studies while working full time.
Sacrifice is releasing something old and worn out to make room for something new and exciting. Do not get caught up on the negative connotation surrounding the idea of sacrifice. You are not letting go of something that is too good to let go of. You are not torturing yourself, nor are you abusing yourself by obtaining your degree, leaving your current job and getting a higher-paying job which better suits you.
Around finals time see if you can take some time off work. When work becomes particularly stressful, or you are working longer hours than normal, you might miss a day or two of classes. This is part of being human. Take care of yourself when you need to pull back a little bit with your academic course load or work schedule.
Becoming sick or overwhelmingly stressed is a clear and direct signal that you might need to take a day off from work, from school or from both activities. You can only push yourself so much before you break down and get sick, which will make things even harder because you will fall behind.
You can prevent illness and high levels of stress in almost every case by slowing down, calming down and doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. Pull back when it is time to pull back, taking care of yourself by resting and spending time away from work, school and everybody around you. This time off can help you recharge, which will help you do your job and your school work more effectively.
Setting academic goals makes your life easier. You have a goal or target to help you stay on track when you feel the urge to get lazy or take shortcuts. Set clear and concise goals for each semester. You will almost always move into acts to achieve your goals on a persistent basis.
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