Work + School: A Busy Person’s Guide to Staying Alive

Anyone who knows me knows that I am always incredibly busy. I am always on the go and constantly running around town doing something. Being a full time fashion student is already a lot of work but what if we threw a full time job in the mix? Yes, that’s right: I currently work full time as the co-manager of a womenswear store. Luckily, I love my major and my job so much. No matter how passionate I am about these things, I always find myself half asleep during the day asking “how is this possible?” Working full time and going to school may seem hard but it is definitely possible and I’ll show you just how I do it.

Just a typical day at work for me!
  1. Lay down the ground rules. School is definitely my first priority. It is the thing that is going to set me up for the rest of my life. With that being the case, it is important my boss knows this. If I have class, I am not available for work at those times. My number one rule is: never ever skip class to go to work!
  2. Strategic scheduling. Although I go to school full time, I have to be available for work at least 5 days of the week. Making this happen can be quite the challenge. One way I make this happen is by planning out my schedule as well as I can. My best tip is to take your classes early and trying to squeeze them into two or three days. That way you’ll have time for studying and work after class. This semester I only took classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Having the ability to create a flexible school schedule is truly a lifesaver.
  3. Put yourself first. My life can get pretty hectic, but I still make time for myself. If I didn’t find some time to relax, I’d be a complete mess. There isn’t much free time in my life but when there is, I make it a point to take a quick nap if I want one, take a relaxing bath, go to the gym and to see my friends. It’s all about self-care—without it, you won’t make it very far.
  4. Study, study, study. You can’t be a college student without studying—that would just be impossible. Working full time means a lot of late nights and bringing your books to work. You can’t let your school work fall behind and you have to do what you have to do to make it all work.
  5. Be honest. If you work full time and go to school full time, there’s no way you won’t feel overwhelmed at least once. When this happens, talk about it. Talk to your boss, and talk to your professors. These people aren’t monsters. They have probably been in the same spot you’ve been in and nine times out of ten, they will understand and try to help.
One of my favorite instructors, Erin, and I after a semester-long project.

I was once told by a professor, “You forget that you are only 19.” Those words constantly play in my head but honestly, she was right. Her words made me take a step back, realize everything that I had going on and what I needed to do to manage it all. Although I am always very busy, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love going to school and I love working. If I can make it happen, so can you.

Camilo Rodriguez, '20

My days consists of thinking of all things fashion, studying endlessly and living the retail dream. Everything I say is a Beyoncé lyric.