Balancing my 9-5 with my 5-9

This year I really underestimated the pressure and stress that comes with balancing school with work. People/I make it look effortless when in reality it’s a bucket-load of work, stress and exhaustion.

I changed universities this year and adjusting to Varsity college with UNISA’s perceptions did not go well. I was introduced to something called turn-it-in / safe assign and got issued with a warning for plagiarism – all in one semester. I now participate in online tests and tasks and the workload isn’t just the prescribed textbook, lecturer slides and extra resources but also the learning units underneath each module on the online platform. WORK, WORK, WORK and more work.

I’m working full-time now (8-4) instead of part-time as a waitress, on days that I felt like working – I could literally miss a month of work and come back like I was only gone a week. Work can get a bit hectic and all I really want to do when I get home is sleep. Cue contact sessions with my lecturers. It’s the face-to-face-time we have with them before an assignment, after an assignment and before exams. From 6pm to 9pm. Sometimes they’re all scheduled for one week and other times spaced out (2 a week). Still, three-hour lectures are the worst! 👀

Balancing work with school and my side hustles is a handful. Having to study after a long day of sitting in an air-conditioned office making sure your work is accurate enough, is a lot. Although I must be honest, procrastination has a big role to play when it comes to me actually getting things done. What I wanted to highlight within this article is that it’s not easy. It takes a lot out of you and the stress is immense but, the feeling of getting your own or “securing the bag” is a feeling like no other! It feels hella great to be studying for your degree and getting experience simultaneously.

So, we’ve established that it’s not easy balancing school with work and your side hustles – if you have any, so what measures can be put into place to help you manage all three?? I need to make mention of the fact that we’re all different people and some of us study better at night while others study better in the morning. Think of these tips and tricks as a structure/model which you can adapt to become your own.

1.      Be prepared to work after work 💪📚
I know that after a long day of work all I really want to do is sleep. Forget even grabbing a bite to eat. I’ve also found that sometimes I don’t want to eat and I end up sipping hot chocolate on the couch, catching up on my favorite series - terrible. So, I’ve started forcing myself to hit the books. I start off with a theory subject like marketing or applied communications- not accounting. It’s boring the first 20-30 minutes but after that I start to enjoy what I’m doing.  Set aside 3-4 hours of your time after work to revise/study or complete tests on a specific module. You choose if you want to start with the module you hate first or end with it.

2.      Spare your weekends 👌👌
Sometimes, we might work even after work. A flexible schedule is crucial and might require you to work on weekends. Ofcourse, I don’t mean every weekend, that’s a no-go. A babe needs some time to herself and with her friends.

3.       Adopt a positive mindset 💆💆
Positivity is key in everything – true story. A positive mindset makes you an unstoppable woman because with positivity you can conquer everything. Don’t let the stress get to you and trust that you can rise above any challenge/difficulty.

For me personally, the last tip is the most important one. If it wasn't for my positive mindset, in times when I've felt overwhelmed, I would've given up. Individuality is what sets us apart so always remember to adopt these tips to fit your personality, lifestyle and schedule but always keep a positive mental attitude towards anything and everything in life.


  1. It's easy to be negative, but a positive mindset is necessary. It's tough to work and study. I used to remind myself "this is only temporary; this too shall pass". Really it's tough but it is do-able. Good luck.

    1. Yes it is 😭😭 and it is very much do-able with a bit of focus, a little less procrastination and a bundle of positivity ♥️💐 Thank you so much for giving it a read.


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