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How can I easily manage a full time job and school at the same time?

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Sarah’s Answer

I worked full time and went to grad school full time. It is a lot to balance for sure. However, the earlier you do it in your career the better. Once you start to get a more senior role at a company and have additional responsibilities of managing a team, it would be next to impossible. So I'd say if you want to do it, do it as soon as possible. And then if you can take night classes, that also helps tremendously. Then you could work a full day and go to class at night. I spent my lunch breaks doing homework, and then on the weekends most of my time studying. However, I felt crunching it all into 2 years that way was better than dragging out for many years with that additional commitment. The other thing I've used to help me is listening to lectures over again in the car while driving, or listening to educational podcasts. That way I could be efficient with commute time and actually be learning while driving. Where there is a will there is a way! So if you want to do it, dive in. But just be committed to making it work.

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Jennifer’s Answer

This is a great question!

One way to help balance this would be to take either all night classes or all morning classes and then schedule your work shifts around them. Another option could be to take online classes so that you can work them on your off days or weekends. Another idea is to take all you classes on the same day...meaning some classes meet every Monday/Wednesday/Friday and others on Tuesday/Thursday....and then schedule your work shifts for the days when classes do not meet. You could also take a 'lower' course load credit hour wise and take more semesters if that is something you could make work.

Many employers will be flexible if they know you are also a full time student. Be transparent with both your professors and your employer so that they can help you succeed in both areas.

I know working full time may not be optional, and many people do it, but it will be difficult so please make sure you take of yourself both physically and mentally. Make sure to afford yourself some 'me time'. Don't overwork yourself. Sleep, nutrition, and attitude are SO important! Work hard, but also enjoy your college experience! Best of luck!

Jennifer recommends the following next steps:

Determine how you want to set your schedule (see the example methods in comment)
Be transparent and open about your commitments with your employer and professors so that they can help you succeed.
Don't forget to kick back and relax once in a while and take care of YOU!

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Natalie’s Answer

First thing I will say is that it can be challenging to manage both. You will need to commit yourself in order to stay on track. I was able to work a full time job and went to school full time. It helped me that I had two online classes and one in-person class each quarter. Everyday that I finished work I came home and did homework for 1.5-2 hours before winding down. On the weekends I would spend all of Saturday afternoon and some of Sunday doing homework. I allowed myself to go to yoga Friday night and Saturday and Sunday mornings. Having time to do something I loved got me through school. I also allowed time to go out Saturday night if there was something fun happening. I have to say that it is not easy and takes commitment.