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How many hours should a full time student work in a week?


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Allison’s Answer

As Sam and Andrea indicated, it is really up to you, and your work life balance. While pursuing my associates degree I worked 50 hour weeks and took in class lecture courses. I would definitely advise against this. While I was able to maintain my grades, and work, there was little time left for sleep. Now I work 46+ hours while pursuing my bachelors, but I am only doing 2 classes a semester, and they are online. It is really about your needs, and how you are able to balance everything.

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Ruth’s Answer

Olivia,
That's a good question. It is very situational. I would start out trying 8 or 10 hours per week. Your college course work should always have top priority. On the other hand you do not want to get off on the wrong foot with your employer by not being able to work as many hours as you thought you could.
When I was growing up, we children had to eat everything that we put on our plate. So the key was I took small portions and then if I wanted more I came back for seconds. With that being said, I would start out with a few hours a week to be safe and then if you find you can handle more hours, ask your employer for more hours.

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Sam’s Answer

As Andrea noted in her response, the amount of hours someone works is situational. If you can afford to work at your convenience, it may be less about the number of hours and more about the amount of experience relevant to what you hope to do in the future. If you are using the funds from your work to finance your education, it may be more of a math equation. However, I'd recommend cutting back on hours spent working if it's affecting your grades. I personally worked 20 - 30 hours per week, while attending school full time. I couldn't pay for my entire education out-of-pocket, but I was able to minimize loan debt and gain relevant experience to help build my resume. It also made it a lot easier to find a job after graduation. The hours I worked each week still allowed me to spend time with friends, go home to see family a couple of times per year and participate in club sports.

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Andrea’s Answer

It depends on what your necessity is. I worked 36 hours a week all during school and I’ve seen nurses work 2 jobs to put themselves through school. If you can avoid it that’s great, but determination can be a great motivator and allow you to accomplish things you didn’t know were possible.

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