View Full Version : Working full time and college?


bluepenguin
10-08-14, 05:06 PM
I have done this before and it is a recipe for disaster. I fail out quickly. I have started and stopped college 6 times.... 6! Sometimes I do amazing and others I fail out before I even know what's happening. I will be 30 in a few months and I don't even have a full year of college credits. I really would like to go back to school, I actually love learning and I wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until I was 27. With the knowledge I have now I think I would excel, the problem is, I don't think I could do it while working full time.

Who is able to work full time and take classes? What are your tricks and tips?? Does it take a toll on you in any way?

Also, does anyone know of any assistance or resources I could look into regarding working and education or not working while getting an education? Part of my problem is I need to bring in an income right now. But I also know if I went to and finished college I would be able to help myself and my family more in the future. I feel like I'm stuck in this cycle and I won't be able to break out.

Any thoughts or help is greatly appreciated!

namazu
10-08-14, 05:50 PM
Have you already explored financial aid options (submitted a FAFSA, etc.)?

Some of these involve work-study, but the amount varies. If you're supporting family members and just making ends meet, your expected contribution (how much they expect you to pay with your own funds) should be pretty low.

Depending on your circumstances, there may be grants (best -- don't need to be repaid) or loans available to you so that you can focus full-time on your studies.

Talking to your school's financial aid office and the school's disability services office (or contact person) would be a good start, if you haven't already. Sometimes the fact that you have a disability can be taken into consideration in figuring out your needs.

Also, your state's department of vocational rehabilitation may also be able to provide help (and possibly some funding / support) for your education, if your disability has made it difficult to get / keep a job, or limited your education in the past. However, many states' voc rehab departments are overwhelmed (too many potential clients, not enough staff or funds), so don't count on this. Still, it's worth exploring if you're in need of additional assistance in preparing for a career.

midnightstar
10-09-14, 12:39 PM
Have you thought about distance learning? That way you can take your time learning, you get online support and you can work as well :)

Thales
10-12-14, 08:19 AM
For a while I have worked full-time in 3 days (3 times 13 hours). It was pretty intense, but on the other hand I never had to work on both college and work on the same day. In a sense it was very well-structured. Still, I would not have been able to do this for a longer period of time.

FreshStart
11-22-14, 01:29 PM
I have worked most of my student life and last year when I didn't I realized how nice it is to just be a student, so much time to keep your life organized and still have some fun.

Sure I was broke and couldn't spend money like I used to BUT the most important thing I took away was that for once I did well academically, I felt smart for the first time!!

To keep this brief...

- look into government student loans so you don't have to pay anything/interest until you graduate

- if you are a registered as a student with adhd look into grants aka free money

- look at your finances and find areas that you can cut back, when I didn't work last year it was tough not having money but my savings gave me enough to survive the year.

- if you must work, work part time

- (if possible) make your class schedule so that you have a day or two off

- MOST IMPORTANT things I have realized, is to understand your best potential studying habits, you have to remember that school is your priority. So, if you study best in the morning find a job that lets you do this. Worst thing I do is thinking that I can go to work from 8am-4pm then go to class from 6pm-8pm and think that I can still finish my assignment after that...

Just sit down with a copy of your class schedule and plan out study times as if they are work shifts, the usual rule is at minimum the amount of class time = study time (2h. lecture = 2h. studying/week). Then see where it is reasonable to fit in some work hours.
Do not overestimate your studying motivation, give yourself plenty of extra time

execfunc
12-03-14, 10:49 PM
Yeah, it is rough. I was able to (finally) finish my undergrad studies last year when the school I was teaching at closed while on unemployment (getting my BA makes me more employable). It was still pretty rough because I did 62 credits in two semesters (plus summer and winter term). Back in June I went back to work full-time and then started a master's program in July. I am so burnt out. Sometimes even when I find time to do work at home, I don't have the energy. I recently lowered my med dosage which has helped a bit. Still, I'm pretty wiped out most of the time and I'm amazed I've been able to keep it together enough to not get fired or blow it on any of my schoolwork. I will say that being this tired and stressed does kind of nullify a fair amount of my CBT habits. For example, I'm usually doing assignments right under the deadline.

Honestly, bluepenguin, what it really comes down to, at least for me, is acceptance. I've accepted that I'm going to be very tired for a while, pretty stressed out, and I will have to sacrifice to get through this. I'm okay with that. I think sometimes we freak out more over how our symptoms and life situations affect us than we do about getting through it. I pray a lot too, for what it's worth.

You can do it. Do it in smaller installments if you need to. Do it, though! I'm in my forties now, so I have no choice, really. It's now or never. I really think if I can do it, almost anyone can who is intellectually (if not completely mentally/emotionally) up to the task. It's worth it! Welcome to the forums, by the way. :-)

lucylove1990
12-18-14, 03:05 AM
I have done this before and it is a recipe for disaster. I fail out quickly. I have started and stopped college 6 times.... 6! Sometimes I do amazing and others I fail out before I even know what's happening. I will be 30 in a few months and I don't even have a full year of college credits. I really would like to go back to school, I actually love learning and I wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until I was 27. With the knowledge I have now I think I would excel, the problem is, I don't think I could do it while working full time.

Who is able to work full time and take classes? What are your tricks and tips?? Does it take a toll on you in any way?

Also, does anyone know of any assistance or resources I could look into regarding working and education or not working while getting an education? Part of my problem is I need to bring in an income right now. But I also know if I went to and finished college I would be able to help myself and my family more in the future. I feel like I'm stuck in this cycle and I won't be able to break out.

Any thoughts or help is greatly appreciated!


Omg 6 times. Me too.

I can't do it. I've tried doing school and work. I can't even handle one at a time.

michaelaisabell
12-19-14, 07:22 PM
I was unable to work part time and go to school!

geek_girl_913
01-04-15, 06:54 AM
I have done both, and in hindsight, actually prefer working and doing school full-time (and I was a far more successful student then, too). The experience of being strictly a student thus far has been terrible.

When I worked and did school, I knew that the time available in order to do papers and other assignments would be limited, which forced me to work more efficiently. The "functional" anxiety of "if this doesn't get done this weekend, it won't get done" was the key to the success.

Now, I have far more time on my hands, and have failed in over two years to properly structure my work habits to get things done, constantly thinking to myself, "Why rush? There's plenty of time." (Reality: there's not plenty of time because of so many other distractions being around.)

However, not everyone is like this. The more important question to ask yourself is "How do I work best?" For me, doing work in long marathons over a long weekend was most effective. Doing work in little bite-sized pieces each day seldom worked for me. You may be the same way, or the complete opposite.

Once you figure out the way you work best, go from there. If you think that having a super-rigid schedule would be best, then go the work/school route. Know that I'm in no way implying that the work & school route is easy, it's exhausting; however, the results could end up being more favorable in the end. (And personally, it was less exhausting than what is going on now.)

Good luck!

P.S. - Start out slow, then build once you adjust. First semester, only take one or two classes. Then once you get into a groove, increase.