Getting a part-time or casual job in high school is a pretty good way to start earning some cash and stop relying on a tiny allowance from your parents to fund your Maccas runs, Netflix account and the occasional house party. But, when you start hitting those final years, where the pressure to perform reaches fever pitch, juggling study and work becomes that little bit harder.

This doesn’t mean it’s impossible; while some people stop working all together during their final years, it’s totally possible to bring in some cash and get good marks–it’s all about balance.

1. Don’t neglect your family & friends

When you’re spending hours making coffees at the hipster café down the road as well as trying to keep on top of all your school work, your family and friends can be pushed to the sidelines.

Your final years can be super stressful and while putting the hours in at work can be the perfect way to keep your mind off the study you need to do, hanging out with your friends and family is going to be way better for your mental health and will be worth more in the long run.

2. Plan ahead for big assignments/exams

If you’re getting casual shifts, or on a rotating roster, it can be hard to predict what’s going to be happening work wise when big assessments or exams come up. Putting your unavailability in early or taking time off so that you don’t have to work over the exam period is a good idea if you want to make sure you have time for last minute cramming.

Same goes for major works and big mark assignments–if you know it’s coming up, put an N/A in at work for the night or couple of days before so when you finally stop procrastinating, you have enough time to get it done.

3. Pull the occasional all-nighter

Occasionally, you might have to set up to work through the night (read here for some solid tips). Particularly if you’re working in the hospo industry, you can be finishing up pretty late and heading home to a mountain of work.

Rather than settling down for bed as soon as you get home, ride on the adrenaline from your shift and smash out the essay that’s due the next day or the assignment you’ve barely started on.

4. Say no

If you’re constantly picking up extra shifts or being called in to work on your days off, it can be hard to say no when you really need to get some study done. Don’t be afraid to tell your boss you can’t do it, even if it’s just for a month or two while you slog through your exams.

There’s plenty of time to put hours in at your job but, especially if you’ve procrastinated to the very last minute, there’s a limit on the amount of time you’ll be able to spend memorising facts and figures for your upcoming exam.