5 Tips to Surviving College while Running a Business, Passing Class, and Working an Internship

Are you struggling to get through school while running a side business?  While it is definitely not the easiest of tasks it can be done.  It is my last week here at UConn and I have made every mistake there is to make while starting up my business and going to class and I am going to give you five tips to success that I have helped me become successful both in the classroom and outside of it.

Tip 1: Time Management is Key

Think about it this way, to be good a professional juggler you need to know exactly when and where the balls are going to land.  Same thing goes with juggling school and your business, you need to know when and where every event, meeting or exam will be.  The last thing you want to have happen is a conflict between events.  One of the best ways to do this is to keep a very detailed calendar. Personally, I use the calendar built into my iPhone so my meeting and exam reminders pop up on both my laptop and phone.

Tip 2: Know when and what you should Sacrifice

You may be a calendar wizard but there inevitably will come a time where there is a scheduling conflict that cannot be avoided and if your luck is anything like mine, this conflict will happen at the worst time possible.  For example, just the other week I got a text from a client that they needed to bump up the time of a shoot due to the weather.  Unfortunately, I this time change directly would interfere with my ability to meet with a group meet up to finish a project we were presenting the next day.  When this happens, you’ll need to make a quick decision based on what will have the biggest impact in the long run.  For my example, the relationship with my client was more important than the relationship with my group members so I bailed on the meeting and went to the shoot.


Tip 3: Coffee is good, sleep is great

With all this running around expect to be exhausted at the end of the day.  You will be extremely tempted when you get back to your cozy dorm or apartment to lounge around and do nothing.  You must avoid this trap and stay as productive as possible.  When I have a big deadline or project due I won’t go back to my room until it’s done to avoid getting distracted. Full day’s like this are taxing on your metal stamina so while coffee can help keep you awake a full nights rest will rally benefit your concentration levels in the long run.

Tip 4:  Surround yourself with like-minded people

There’s nothing worse than trying to get work done while all of your friends are out and about having the time of their lives.  While it’s good to have friends who see the world differently then you, it is very helpful to have friends who are like-minded as well.  If you surround yourself with people who are just as driven as you are, you go from having friends who are a distraction to friends who help drive you to be successful.

Tip 5: Don’t lose sight of enjoying your time here

UConn has easily been the best 4 years of my life and that is because I allowed myself to not only focus on school, work and freelancing.  It’s not the end of the world if you spend an afternoon relaxing outside with friends instead of cold-calling companies or studying in the library.  My fondest memories here are without a doubt those spent outside of the classroom and out from behind the camera.

By Fritz Gilbert
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