Working as a freelancer while studying has numerous advantages. It gives you extra cash, helps you to build your customer list early on, and gives you vital experience for your entry-level résumé. However, there are negatives, such as balancing time between academics and client commitments, as well as a proclivity to prefer earning to studying.

We’ve listed our top recommendations for balancing school and work below to help you maintain your focus and sanity:

Determine the Time

You’re doing something wrong if you have to sacrifice time for learning, social connections, and rest. It doesn’t matter how lucrative the job is; if you’re exhausted, burned out, and miserable, the quality of your work and your health will suffer. Check to see whether you have any time left after class and academics before you contemplate working. You must also determine when you are at your most productive. Are you a morning person or a night owl when it comes to working? Do you prefer to work in little increments or do you require hours of concentration?

Plan ahead of time

Calculate how much time lectures, social activities, homework, extracurricular activities, and other activities take up after you’ve finalized your school calendar. Calculate how many hours you have available to work as a freelancer. Maybe you can skip a Friday night party or give up that late-night TV show you watch. If you spend a lot of time commuting to and from school, you should consider relocating.

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Don’t accept any job just because it’s there. Work that you cherry-pick ensures that you only obtain jobs that you can do and that pays well. Reject a job if it demands more time than you can devote, isn’t worth the money, or is too difficult.

Master the Art of Discipline

It takes a lot of self-control to keep freelancing despite academic pressures and friends’ pleadings to remain and hang out for a few more hours. It takes a lot of willpower to avoid oversleeping and deferring work until the next day. Make a list of the jobs you need to complete for the day and check them off after you’re done to remind yourself that you’re on top of things.

Establishing Client Expectations

Don’t be frightened to express yourself. If the project requires a larger budget or a longer timeline, you must inform the client. Don’t make a decision until you’ve thought it through thoroughly. When it comes to bargaining with clients, one rule to remember is to “under-promise and over-deliver.” For example, your project’s expected completion date is a week away. Inform your boss that you will be able to deliver in two weeks. This way, if you get sick or have an urgent thing to attend to, you’ll have time to catch up. Use this time to ensure that the job is of excellent quality and meets or exceeds the expectations of your clients.

A student freelancing career can be extremely demanding, but the advantages are numerous: competitive advantage over other entry-level applicants, a name in the field, and a head start. But don’t get caught up in the craziness, and keep your gaze fixed on the goal. Freelancing offers a lot of potential, and the extra money is tempting, but you’re in school for a reason. Keep your credential in your sight at all times.