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How hard is to have job and go to college?

Hi, I am starting to look at colleges since I am graduating high school next year. I am looking at becoming a zookeeper. Also, I am enrolled in college credit plus but have not decided what to take and I also plain on finishing all my normal college credits before studding for my degree. I have already looked at a couple schools but they are out of state, which means I will need a job. I was wondering how hard it would be to manage my schoolwork and a job at the same time? #zookeeper #career #time-management #college #college-advice

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Rachel’s Answer

The best way to limit student loan debt is to limit costs. That means most likely going to a state school. Some schools offer work-study programs, and you should always apply for any scholarships that are available.
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Richard’s Answer

It's possible to balance a job with school, but if you are considering paying out-of-state tuition, working might not make much of a dent in the overall cost. If you find your studies are suffering you should reconsider your priorities. There may come a time when you have to consider working less and taking on more debt. Make sure your future career can support repayment of that debt. Otherwise you may want to think of other ways of saving money (staying in-state and living with your parents, local community colleges etc)
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Whitney’s Answer

Balancing a job and college studies is something that should be attainable. Assignments and workload will depend on the specific school and specific classes. However, you will most likely be able to get a job while in college. When scheduling your classes, plan to meet with an advisor at your school so they can guide you to make a schedule that is not too overwhelming and not too many advanced courses at once.


Many companies in a college town are used to working with college students, so you should be open with them about your concerns. You could first start working part-time and see how this works for you, then go from there.


Also, you want to make sure you are staying disciplined and perhaps make a weekly plan. Plan out when you will go to class, when you will work, and when you will do your assignments so you can follow it and be sure to get everything done. Once you get in a routine with classes, study time, and work, it will make it easier to stick to.

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Courtney’s Answer

It honestly depends on the person and the college. I'm doing my first 2 years at a community college and I'm taking all my classes online (12-15 hours each semester, including the summer). Most of my professors open up all the classes on day 1 and give me until the end of the semester to get them done which means I can move at my own pace (ratemyprofessor.com is a good website to find the professors that do this).


What I typically do is spend one whole day each week getting ahead in my classes to compensate for the weeks that I want to spend more time hanging out with friends. I've sometimes been able to do an entire semester worth of work in 2 weeks by dedicating a couple of weekends to it. This allows me to both work and have a social life.


As an example, I work 8-5, 4 days a week, as a zookeeper (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri). On Wednesdays I spend 3 hours working as a personal shopper for Instacart (this Weds. I made $48.75 in 3 hours) ; and on the weekends I do house/pet sitting. I like Instacart because I can pick my hours/days. I like doing overnights house/pet sitting because I can still get my homework done at their house. I have 5:30pm-11pm during the week that I dedicate to homework (if needed) or social stuff if I'm ahead on homework. I set aside 4 hours each morning on the weekend for homework (or at night if I'm house/pet sitting overnight). I still live at home so 90% of my income goes into savings and I'm saving for a down payment on a house.


I will say that you really have to be disciplined and good at time management to make a schedule like mine work, but I strongly suggest finding jobs where you can pick your own schedule (like pet sitting, Instacart, Shipt, etc)


Also, keep in mind that if you want to be a zookeeper, you'll need to set some time aside to do internships at zoos, vet clinics, animal shelters. I started volunteering at a zoo when I was 14; did a high school internship at a vet clinic; started pet sitting at 14; and took 10 animal science classes during high school. When I graduated high school the zoo I volunteered took in to consideration all the experience I got during high school, waived their Bachelor's Degree requirement, and offered me a job as a zookeeper. Since I didn't need to get a bachelor's degree to be a zookeeper, I'm getting my degree in Business Management.

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Alexandra’s Answer

Hi Clorissa!


I understand the struggle of going to an out of state school and trying to find the balance between school and work. It is definitely possible! Campuses as well as the surrounding towns are often filled with flexible opportunities, primarily looking to hire college students. As you are applying for these jobs, voice that your focus for being at school is for your studies and usually the bosses are more than understanding. I found later in my college career, it was easier to group my classes together on days and work on other days. This is how I found the most balance. In addition, it is important to just be upfront and honest about your school commitments, as my bosses were often extremely flexible with my hours as long as I asked ahead of time! Once you have this schedule set, you'll be able to time when is best for you to complete assignments, attend extracurricular activities, or any other hobbies you want to fit in!

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