(Closed) What's too much work during grad school?

posted 5 years ago in College
Post # 2
Member
4008 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

It depends on your courseload. I was working full time as a teacher during mine, but I was only taking one class per trimester during the school year and two during the summer when I was off. I don’t think I could work full time and go to grad school full time, especially if the class work is rigorous and requires ample study time. Mine luckily didn’t require much studying, just tons of reading and writing. Depending on how many classes you’re taking at a time, I wouldn’t take more than two classes while workin full time. Any more than that and I’d have to switch to part time for a while. 

Post # 3
Member
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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Birdiebaby4:  I agree with PP. During my first semester of grad school, I was working full time, but I was only taking one course. After that, my courseload jumped to 4 classes/semester plus student teaching (1 day a week in the fall semester, full time in the spring semester). During the fall semester, I worked about 15 hours a week in addition to my school stuff, and I was very busy. In the spring, I didn’t work at all, as student teaching is essentially a full time job (just unpaid). My last semester was over the summer, and between our wedding, honeymoon and searching for a full time job for the fall, I didn’t work. I only took one course.

Post # 4
Member
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island

It depends largely on what type of masters youre pursuing.  When i was writing my thesis, I was working well over 50hrs a week on just that.  However, I was taking classes while doing a 40hr/week internship because I could handle just doing homework after work.  If you don’t have much homework, you could probably swing a full time job.  However, if you’re taking 3 classes and all have a few hours of homework each week, it would probably just stress you out unnecessarily.

Post # 5
Member
1603 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

It really depends on the individual and the program, I would say. Over the course of my MA program I was a full-time student in addition to working 40-60 hours a week between my part-time job and RAships at university. It was insane, but it was doable (for no more than a year, I’d say).

Post # 6
Member
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I work 50+ hours a week and am attending grad school for HR Management. On top of this, I also am planning my wedding and keeping up the household.

Luckily, I attend school online through the University. If there is anyway that you can switch your schooling program to online, I highly HIGHLY suggest it. The way it works for me is that there are two classes taken every 11 weeks, then a 1 week break in between. You continue your studies all through winter/summer with no breaks other than the 1 week.

All assignments are due on Monday, so you get to space out the work you have to fit around your schedule. It is the same as taking classes in the classroom, but more flexible for working individuals, especially families.

Post # 7
Member
255 posts
Helper bee

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Birdiebaby4:  I’m not sure if I can be of too much help because a lot of the answer for approperiate will revolve around the type of program you’re in and what other commitments you have going on in your life (e.g. children, etc.).

I work full-time and am enrolled full-time in a MBA night course for working professionals; however I don’t have kids or pets and am lucky enough to have the most amazingly supportive partner imaginable. It’s tough, no doubt, but there is a constant re-evalutaion of priorities.

The piece of advice that has really helped me is that when you’re working and doing school “you’re not always going to be an ‘A’-student, ‘A’-mother, ‘A’-employee, ‘A’-wife/gf; sometimes you’ll be an ‘A’-student and a ‘B’-wife, sometimes you’ll be an ‘A’-mother and a ‘B+’student. You have to learn to forgive yourself when there aren’t more than 24 hours in the day and when you wear yourself so ragged you HAVE to stop or risk illness. 

If you’re not working in your field and are pre-experience and thinking about a waitressing-type job, I’d go extrememly light on hours at first; if you’ve never worked and done school at the same time then keep it light and see how it goes.

Post # 8
Member
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I worked as a graduate assistant at the university 50-65 hours per week, plus weekly out of state travel. I also took a heavy course load and finished my two year program in three semesters… wouldn’t recommend any of that. Hahah 🙂 

Good luck, bee!

Post # 9
Hostess
4550 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

Like PP said, it depends on what you think you’re able to do.  I worked full time and took classes full time while I was in law school (finished in the regular 3 years) and wrote my Comment (thesis/dissertation) while carrying that work load.  It was really difficult and my grades took a bit of a hit, but I attended a very expensive private school in one of the highest COL cities in the US, so I wanted to decrease my student debt as much as possible.  I would definitely think about what your priorities are – are you the type of person who can balance a lot and stresses about money?  If so, I’d work as much as possible.  If you’re overwhelmed by that (and that’s ok!  That’s how my sister is) I would focus more on school and take on more hours after graduation to pay off potential debt/build savings back up. 

Post # 10
Member
15135 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

How many hours of classes and class work are there?  I was working full time and taking two night classes for my masters.  So 40 hours of work, 6 hours of classes, then maybe 10-15 hours of classwork a week…. so about 60 hrs per week between school and work I guess was reasonable for me.  It helped that DH (then BF) and I was doing this together so our definition of “home life” just shifted a little for 2.5 years.  Instead of relaxing together, we did HW.

Post # 13
Member
3728 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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Birdiebaby4:  I worked 40 hours a week. I had no work life balance, but I could afford to eat!

Post # 14
Member
1594 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

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Birdiebaby4:  I work 40 hours a week and am getting my Masters and would say I’ve very balanced in my home, work, and school life – except for the week of and before finals (and midterms if my instructors think it’s fun to require tests).  During those two weeks (or three), DH knows I will be absolutely zero help with anything. I’m seriously busy. But otherwise, I schedule/plan my days very well (in my opinion) and get my work done so I can spend time with the hubs or chill. 

Do you use a planner? I would suggest getting one if you don’t.  I organize my week based on things I need to do – so like today, I have to make some personal calls, book hotel rooms for a trip, finish my discussion forums for a class, write just the introduction for a class paper, plan thanksgiving grocery shopping, and get the bed in the guest bedroom ready for family.  I just do one part of everything each day, so by the due date, or by the time family gets here, everything will be done. 

Post # 15
Member
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island

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Birdiebaby4:  honestly, with the courseload you’re describing and the duties associated with keeping up a household, i’d ask if it were absolutely necessary for you to also hold a job.  if your program is research intensive, do you have a stipend? have you applied for grant money? can you participate in poster contests or speech contests about your research to win cash while also advancing your research instead of pulling yourself off to do an unrelated job to generate income?  Or TA or grade classes or labs for professors?  Since you mentioned how disappointed you were after you finished undergrad that your working negatively affected your grades, I’d say that since you’re already trying to not have a nervous breakdown with your school courseload, it probably wouldn’t be in your best interest to hold a job on top of that…

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