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Balancing College, Work, and Home life

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mkewman

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I'm nervous about this upcoming semester, and I'm worried about how i'm going to balance a 20-30 hr/wk job, a couple classes, and my personal relationships, and taking care of chores, bills and everything.

Many of you went through college while working, How did you do it?
 

okccsi

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Man oh man, do I have one of those stories.

When I started college, my wife was working while I took care of the kids and house. My wife did not like being away from home with the kids so she decided she wanted to quit. I was still working security part-time, and now had to look for another job. I started delivering pizza's. I started working for Mazzio's for roughly 30 hours per week during the day. I would often leave after the lunch rush, go to class, then come back and work some more.

This is where it gets good. I started a Ford Mustang club here in my modest town. Then started coaching t-ball for my then 4 year old son.

What I haven't mentioned is that I was going to school full-time with a minimum of 6 classes per semester. One semester, I managed to to pull off 24 credit hours. I took some classes that were 6 hours per day on Saturday's. So I would often take an early morning class, go to work at Mazzio's, go back to school for a couple of classes, then back into work for a few more hours. Sundays I usually worked double shifts. Ball games were twice a week, usually Monday and Wednesday. Thursday, Friday, abd Saturday nights, I worked security.

I lucked out in some areas though. I was on a networking degree program and one of the main professors owned his own networking business. When he had a big job setup, he would use the class for the job...through the school of course. So classes like Network Troubleshooting and Newtwork Management were taken care of in 1 or 2 days. That left him out of the school for the summer, and open for other jobs.

The main thing through all of this, including the birth of two sons while going to school was the drive to get ahead. I had a goal, and I knew I had to achieve it. Up to that point, I was pretty much keeping my head above water. Many times I had to hold my breath for a long time if you understand my meaning. I wasn't driven, and neither my wife nor I saw us getting ahead. Eventually, I backed out of the car club and turned it over to someone else. Then, I stopped coaching. I focused more on my grades and work and eventually got on the President's honor roll. I had been maintaining a 3.2 gpa before that and knew I needed to do better. I branched off in the end after my basics and attained two degrees at graduation. Granted, they are only 2 year degrees. But I did it in 2.5 years. Once the basics were out of the way it became a lot easier..and a lot more fun. Some people prefer to mix it up between required basics and electives or degree reuirements, but I felt more at ease knocking out all my math, english, humanties, government, science, speech, etc. at first. I also found a lot of professors that didn't care if I came to class or not so long as my assignments were in on time and I made it for tests. These breaks were usually spent at home with my wife and kids enjoying some together time.

Focus on what is important. Yes, the degree is important, but so are the people that support you and help you in all the little ways to achieve that goal. Achieving your goal in the end is rewarding, but so much more when those people still love you enough to show up and watch you walk at your graduation.

OKC CSI
 

cschmit

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I went back to Tech school @ 26 years old and the month I started my Daughter was born so I was balancing a 50+hr a week job + school + a newborn and wife. It wasn't easy but with a little work I made it through the 2 years. Granted I averaged 2hrs a sleep a night but I did good. Keep you mind focused on what task is in front of you and you can do it and in the end you will be happy you did finish it all.
 

DaveNF2G

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College programs that have internships or cooperative study opportunities usually encourage (or require) full-time students to limit their work to 20 hours or fewer during the semester.

It is possible, however, to work full time and attend college full time. I did. The "trick" is to plan ahead, prioritize, and stick to the plan.
 

EJB

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Mark: What I did was simple.
Firstly, thanks to the govt my tuition for university (college was free in Quebec) was about 650 bucks back in 1989. I earned that working part time in a month.
My part time job was an every day thing but only 2-3 hrs a day.

Secondly, I made sure I went to school the least amount of days; I had long days on Mon and Wed, from 1PM-10PM.
I ususally had Tues and Thurs off and NEVER went to school on Friday.
 

pathalogical

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I'm single and have no dependants and been out of school since 1988 (school wasn't exactly my forte). In 1991 I passed my tractor-trailer licence and started working part time shortly after at United Parcel Service up the street (Mon-Fri). 1993 I found a full time job doing the same work on midnights (Sun-Thu). During all this I was also teaching guitar lessons at a local music school on Sat mornings. So basically,
Sun-Thu 11pm-7am 40hrs
Mon-Fri 6pm-10pm 20hrs
Sat 9am-12pm 3hrs
In other words, I was working 3 jobs, 7 days a week. I did this for about two and a half years when I finally couldn't take it anymore. I quit the music school in 1993 after having taught for 10 years. Worked these other two jobs for a couple more years when the Sun-Thu job was offered to me as Mon-Fri afternoons and therefore quit UPS. It was great going the bank with three paycheques but it left me with very little time for anything else. This one job now was great, Mon-Fri 2:30pm-10:30pm shunting trailers at a large warehouse, no on-road driving and no loading. Then in Sept 2003 a sudden muscle spasm has now left me with chronic back pain and have been off work since then. As Hammy Hamster would say..."But that's, another story". I guess my point is, try and make time for the things you wanna do instead of the things you have to do. If you can get off work a bit early and snuggle with the wife or play with the kids, take advantage of it. And if they are asleep, well that's just extra study time. And be sure to take some time out for yourself too. Good luck.
 

red8

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Jan 16, 2004
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denham springs la.
Hey Mike, trust me papa you can do it. I know because my wife did it
she was working full time 12 hr shifts, going to school fulltime, plus
planned a wedding for her daughter and she's in her 40's.
I know it can be stressful but it can be done, I guess what I am
trying to say is "suck it up big guy"lol :)
 
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