How to Work Full-Time & Go to School Full-Time

How do you manage to work full-time and go to college full-time?

Honestly, the best answer is that you don’t. I know that this may not be the answer that you were hoping for, but managing both tasks full-time is not something one should take on lightly. The reality is that it is a stressful time of absolutely zero sleep and feeling miserable 90% of the time. One might say that it’ll be worth it in the end, but why suffer if you can avoid that suffering?

I understand there are some situations where one must work in order to financially support themselves and must attend college full-time because they have a scholarship that requires them to attend school full-time. So, I’m here to help you out a tad if you fit in this category (or simply choose to ignore my number one tip in the paragraph above).

Below are a few tips for managing your work-school schedule:

  1. Look into online courses. I love love LOVE online courses! I was homeschooled, and so I was pretty used to learning material on my own, but I understand that online courses may not work for everyone. However, learn a bit more about what is included in the online courses your college offers. Oftentimes, you will find that there are always professors still available to meet with you either in person or via video chat. On top of that, some books come with great programs that assist you in your learning.
  2. Have a great support system. Make sure your friends and family know that you are on this hard path for the next couple years or so. This prevents them from bugging you about the fact that you may study too much, never have time for them, or from them constantly begging you to hang out. On top of that, build a support system that includes tutors and your computer. I’m sure you know why a tutor is helpful to have in your circle of friends. A relationship with your computer is also very important. It is one that I’ve personally had the biggest struggle with. It’s important that your computer does not steer you in the wrong direction and tempt you with more fun websites. It’s also very important that you establish authority and show the computer who is the alpha dog.
  3. Keep your eye on the prize. Oftentimes, you may feel discouraged more times than the number of stars in the sky. It’s very important that you keep reminding yourself of what you are working towards. It can be a photo, a daily/weekly iPhone reminder, a monthly “Congrats, you made it another month!” gift to yourself, or whatever else you’d like.
  4. Time management is EVERYTHING! This is my final tip and a very important one! If you don’t manage your time well, you will fail. That is just the simple truth. The hardest part of this tip is following through with the way you scheduled your time. It’s very easy to reschedule items and put them off. It’s also very easy to think “Oh I’ll do this later” when your friends invite you to go out. I suggest to plan your schedule wisely. You must remember to schedule some “fun” time on top of all the serious tasks that must be done.

– Alena Y