Post # 1
Because I’m hoping I can keep my sanity this semester. I just finished my first week of classes and I’m so overwhelmed. I’m taking four classes and work five days a week. I work early mornings and my classes are four days a week, early afternoon and late evenings. I sometimes don’t get home until 9pm from one class, have to go to bed to get up at 4AM for work, go to my 1:30 pm class two hours after work, I have a few hours, then back to class. I’m not used to the sleeping schedule, the heavy reading involved with my science class, and I’m trying to balance that with the other chores and things I know I need to do at home.
Hubsand is super supportive, but sometimes I don’t think he realizes how overwhelmed I am until I snap.
How are you managing?
Post # 3
Well I am not quite as busy as you, I made it a point to not work soooo much. However, I am going to school full time and I have two part time jobs plus planning our June wedding. To be honest I do not read what I am supossed to and I manage to get by. I do not have time to read EVERYTHING I am required to so I skim the chapters read the important stuff. I focus my attention on the lectures in class, and I make sure I go to class. Speak up in class, ask questions, and get really good at writing. In my experience a prof will remember who you are if you speak up and write really well-you might get a better grade cause of it. My GPA is at a 3.56 right now so I do allright. I am also the type of person that needs a lot of down time to recuperate and clear my head, so the schedule gets to me too. I take it one day at a time and do my best. Seems silly, but I often (almost every day) visualize myself in my cap and gown walking to the stage to get my diploma with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. That helps me stay motivated.
Another thing I just thought of, anyway you can cut back on your work hours? I would also add to take the week off before finals week if you can that week tends to be worse than actual finals week.
Post # 4
@Jamie42003: Not really. We really need the money. Darling Husband just got braces, and after the wedding I feel like things have gotten crazy with bills and such. Even though we are debt free just things add up lately.
Post # 5
I’m not in that situation now but was when I left my first husband. The only difference was that I also had 2 children.
I made the decision that I did not want to raise my children in poverty, so I knew I needed to upgrade my education. I worked full time while I completed my nursing education.
I won’t say that it wasn’t tough, but I have never regretted my decision.
Post # 6
@sleepingwithnuns- Well you will be okay, you’ll have to get into a groove, and the semester will be over with in no time. Plus it sounds like you will have the weekends to rest and do homework.
Post # 7
I am not currently but I used to. I agree you just need to find your groove and you will be SO happy you got it over with!
Post # 8
@Jamie42003: no I work every weekend. I generally have two days off during the week from work, but have class that night. Today is one of those days. I was trying to do homework today but can’t concentrate at all.
I do think once I get into my groove things wil get better. I’ve done this before, just need to do it again!
Post # 9
I’m almost in the same boat (and have been for the last two years). This semester Im working Friday – Monday, and go to school from 9:30 am – 8:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So I work 32 hours and am taking 5 classes. So far I am absolutely loving going to class only two days a week instead of five. Plus it saves crazy money on gas. Now that I’m nearly a senior classes are getting crazy. I have 16 papers to write, 4 of which have a 10 page minimum. My time is at a premium.
Here’s a few things I’ve learned over the past two years to cope with this-
- Don’t let yourself skip. I let myself skip too much in semesters past and I always end up doing very poorly in one class. Wasted money and time.
- If there is any way you can work one day less, or even a half day, do it. I lasted about two weeks with a full course load and 40 hours. My brain refused to work and I had to drop a day. Trust me, any penny pinching is worth the sanity you retain.
- Your brain NEEDS time off. If you try to used it 100% of your waking hours its use greatly diminishes. On your days off work sleep in. Watch an hour of tv before you start in on studying. Schedule 20 minutes before you sleep for reading a book. Whatever allows you to veg. Weddingbee.
- Do homework/studying during breaks at work. People at work think I’m crazy for doing this, but I get two twenty minute breaks. That’s 40 minutes of reading I don’t have to do when I get home. I get to relax at home.
- Selective studying. This may take a week or two, but figure out which classes you HAVE to read the entire chapter and which ones you can skim through. I know in my Interpersonal Comm class my prof takes the slides directly from the chapter so I don’t need to read it. My Organizational Comm class and Creative Writing class the first thing we do is take a quiz over what we are supposed to have read. I need to read those chapters in full. My Math prof suggests problems for the sections- I do them if I have trouble grasping the concept. If its easy peasy I skip them and save it for test review.
- Keep organized. I have a binder with my own schedule written out for the entire semester. I know what is coming and how far in advance I need to start thinking about things. I have all my syllabi in there. Any handouts. Readings. Its all in one binder that fits in my (very large) purse. It allows me to get papers written well in advance. My first 10 page paper isn’t due for a month and I’m already working on it. Maybe for only 10 minutes at a time, but the ball is rolling.
- As for you being stress and your husband- when you’re feeling stressed, alert him. Its great he is supportive. Just tell him hey, this week I’ve got a huge paper/project/exam due so I’m going to need a little extra help. That may just mean leaving you alone so you can study or doing a few extra chores. Or it may just mean hey, when I go crazy on you, I don’t really mean it. My Fiance gets told this a lot. And he knows any remarks will end up with him getting yelled at and most possibily slapped. This way he at least knows its coming.
- Sometimes chores just don’t get done. That is ok. Anyone working full time and going to school full time gets a free pass on a clean house. I hate clutter and a dirty house. Unforuntely, if its between sleep and the dishes getting cleaned right now, I’ll be preparing my brain for the next day. After each semester it takes me about three days get the place back to how I like it. If anyone has a problem with it they can clean it themselves (as I have had to tell Mister from time to time).
I feel like at this point if I say anything else you will just stop reading. These are the important things. I wish you the best of luck and I’ll see you at the psych ward when you’re done!
- Ok, I swear this is the last one. Regularly remind yourself how long you’ve got to go. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve told myself “Just one more year. You’ve gotten this far, keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll get there.” A professor told my class this the other day. I’ve been worrying about being able to graduate. She said, “Keeping doing exactly the same and you will make it.” Its true. If you’ve been passing classes, that’s all you have to do. Keep passing classes. In the end, you’ll have that degree in hand.
Post # 10
I worked full time and took 6 courses a semester in undergrad, and now I’m working full time and in part time grad school (2 courses/semester instead of 3). It’s a ton of work, and you’ll feel like pulling out your hair half the time. BUT, it’s very doable. You have to get really good at time management!
Remember, stress is normal. Plan a study schedule and stick to it. You’ll have to give a lot of things up, but it’s worth it in the end! (I do nothing on Friday nights but homework! But I pick one free day on the weekend, and do nothing but fun things to keep my sanity).
You may also want to consider looking into summer classes and spreading out your workload over three (or four, depending on your school) semesters so you can take fewer courses during the year.
Post # 11
I did this worked full time and went to college plus I am a mother of two its do able
Post # 12
@Caizn: Agree with all this!
I’m working full time+traveling and taking 12.5 credits in grad school this semester (not quite full time, but almost). The only thing I would add is to consciously look forward to your breaks and plan something special during them. Like a date with your husband, or a few hours where you do nothing but relax.
Post # 13
I feel somewhat of an expert in this area as I spent 3.5 years working 40+ hrs a week and taking at least 15 hours a semester (the last one nearly killed me at 18 hrs!). It’s difficult but definately possible.
- My first suggestion, and this sounds counter productive, is to make sure you have a day that you don’t even mess with school, I picked Fridays. Once classes ended on Fridays I didn’t study etc. I felt that this gave me the mental break I needed to actually do the work throughout the week.
- I would also suggest you not try to do your work at home because it’s too distracting. If you can fit 30 minutes of study time in do it at the library, find your ‘fortress of solitude’ mine was a nook where the periodicals were kept and no one ever went. You wouldn’t believe how much easier it is to study when you are not distracted by all the things you need to do at home.
- Also use little motivators to get you through tough projects, my professors thought it was funny/cute that every time I finished a paragraph while writing a paper I would eat an m&m or skittles but hey it was something to look forward to! I later had friends who went to grad school tell me they used that method to get through papers so apparently I’m not the only person it works for.
- I also allowed myself 15 minutes of ‘free time’ for every hour I studied so I could browse facebook and if I studied for an hour and a half I’d watch a tv show.
- Don’t deprive yourself of fun just because you have a paper due. Thing happen, friends you haven’t seen in ages pop up out of nowhere. You get invited to outings or concerts, GO! This is a rule that I didn’t follow and wish I had. I missed out on so many opportunities to make friends and build a network of people who were in my same situation but didn’t because “I need to work on that paper that’s due in 3 months,” yes you do but you can also budget your time a little differently in order to do it.
To be honest when I went to grad school I found that I couldn’t force myself to study because I didn’t have the time constraints of ‘Oh, the paper is due on Tuesday and I have to work Thursday and Saturday so I better get on it now.’ It was more like ‘our discussion is on Monday but I have all day Thursday-Sunday to read 200 pages, ok I’m going to watch 30 Rock on netflix!’ I think the overall point is to take breathers, give yourself small goals/accomplishments and small rewards for those accomplishments and take advantage of the extra time you have.
Post # 14
I am- I am working 2 jobs, taking five classes and then I come home to my fiance and two children- my days are pretty busy!
Post # 15
I never did but my husband did. He was going to school full time and working 6 days a week. There were stretches of 3 days when projects were due that all he would get was a 20minute cat nap each day on the studio couch.
It wasn’t just sitting in a lecture hall. It was studio which meant many endless sleepless nights. He would work form 8am-5pm then come to studio and work till like 6am in the morning. Go home shower and go to work and repeat.
Honestly, do not know how he did it!!! But he had to because he put himself through college.
That is INSANE. YOU are the epitome of SUPER MOM!
Post # 16
I feel your pain, I’m on weddingbee right now as a break because I am SO stressed out about school and work. Yesterday I started classes at 8am, and got assigned a six pahge paper and a powerpoint presentation and several readings for a quiz the next class, all due Tuesday. Then I went straight to work, where I was kept late and didn’t get to leave until almost midnight because we are having an important walk tomorrow with our district manager to make sure the store looks perfect. I have to go back at 2pm – they asked me to come in early, but I had to say no, which I’m now feeling guilty about.