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Balancing School + Work?


Well-Known Member
It seems like a lot of people going to my school (community college) are also working. I talked to this guy today who said he was taking 15 credits and also working 40 hours a week o_O Like what the hell, how is that even possible... he said he works mornings and evenings, but damn, how do you even sleep or do homework...

I tried to get a job last year while I was in school and even though it was a 10 hour a week part time position, (at the library) they said they didn't want to hire me because they didn't like the hours I was available (I had been volunteering for a year there, and I really thought they would hire me...)

So to anyone with a job who's going to school, how do you balance both of them? Some older people at my school also have a family to support on top of their job and school, I don't know how people do it. I feel like I'm being lazy and whining about this, but at the same time, I'm not prepared for this shit D: I used to be a terrible student and the fact that I'm getting straight A's now is pretty amazing, and I don't want to ruin my GPA in case I want to transfer. I don't think I can get by without a job anymore though, and I hate being unemployed. But going to school full time is stressful enough already. I wish I could do work study but I'm ineligible for that because I'm 'not poor enough'. (first world problems)

Finally, I'm wondering what kind of job I should look for that's part time and has flexible hours. I don't really have any experience so retail is pretty much my only option, unfortunately...

I also thought about doing commissions on FA on a regular schedule, but that seems even harder than working part time (I'm still not very fast or consistant with drawing...)

Hmm it's strange, when I was at a university (briefly), pretty much nobody had a job. I don't know if it's the economy now or the fact that I'm going to a community college, but everyone else is stretching themselves pretty thin, I wonder if I should too. Right now I'm just mooching off of my parents and they're barely even giving me enough to eat and buy gas. :/
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The best way to balance classes and work is to give your self free days during the week where you have no classes. Like if you only have classes on Monday Wednesday and Friday that means you have all day Tuesday Thursday Saturday and Sunday to work. And or make sure all your classes are around the same time. So if all your classes are morning classes you can work in the afternoon/evening. These are things you have to plan for when you are signing up for classes. You can also try and find a part time job were you only work weekends. They exist but they are hard to come by. I work as a security guard we have a weekend shift that's 12 hours Saturday and Sunday (24 hours total) one of our guards worked that weekend shift while he was finishing up his criminal justice degree another one is working on her realtor certification.

Big retail stores might be your best bet if you can be consistent with your hours and the times you can work are in 8 hour chunks. A lot of them don't want full time employees because then they have to pay you more and offer health insurance so they are more then happy to make you part time. Gas stations and fast food is also a good place to start looking as well. Yes all these places suck to work but they have low standards and as such are more willing to deal with class load. You aren't likely to get a cushy library job as a student because everyone wants the nice library job. You need to find a place that has a bit higher employee turn over rate.


Well-Known Member
Yeah I didn't know if it was better to cram a bunch of classes onto a few days and leave some free (what you said), which I have done before, or to just spread everything out evenly so I have the least amount of work each day. I ended up with a pretty even spread of classes through the week this semester, and they're at pretty consistant times. I was hoping to get a job where I would only have to work Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, because Monday and Wednesday I'm in school 6 hours straight and it's kind of crazy, Tuesday maaaaybe... that's 4 days straight at least (I have class early afternoon Thursday and Friday)

It is kind of a lot of credits I have to take this semester and next, but I have to take all of these classes if I want to get my degree by spring. If I drop some classes I'll be more relaxed with my options but then I'll have to go to school for another semester. It will let me take more electives though (I don't really need any more for the degree but it might be nice anyway) It's starting to look like more of an option at this point. Really, 69 credits is an awful lot for a 2 year program...


Primitive Vertebrate
I'm currently taking 16 hours of biology classes and working anywhere from 15-25 hours a week (actually this week it's 28, but it should drop when some new people start). I work retail, which sucks, but they're willing to work around my schedule. and the place I work is very close to school, and only 10 minutes from home. I try to cluster my classes so that there's a decent amount of time afterwards (or before, if you like evening classes) to work. so 3 days a week I finish classes at 12:15. I've told my job I can work starting at 3 on those days (usually I get scheduled to start at 4 or 5 though) so I have time to get lunch and do my reading. My first semester I put all my classes on monday-wednesday-friday, and worked the other 4, and it stunk. I was in class for 7.5 hours straight (no time for lunch even) and I had to study for ALL my classes around working on the other days. I like what I do now better, since the studying is broken up by class days.

The one advantage I have though, is that I'm going to school for something I really love, so even before I came back to school I was reading a lot of books on the subject, and listening to a lot of iTunes U lectures and podcasts. so for 3 of my 6 classes, I don't think I'm going to have to push myself too hard.


SkyNet Engineer
I have a 16 Hr semester with 20 Hr a week part time job. It works perfectly for me because I have classes mon-fri and then work on sat and sun. I work at a logistics warehouse for a grocery company, and they are super flexible with my hours because I'm a student. Anyways, that seems to be the perfect balance because I have all week to concentrate exclusively on classes, homework, and studying, while I simply just work on the weekend. Of course that means I practically don't have time for a social life, but again that's ok because I'm forever alone :p
I'm lucky to have a full paying scholarship, therefore 20Hrs is enough for only paying a few bills and chump spending money. It's been this way ever since I started college, I'm a junior now, and able to keep a 3.9 GPA, so it's what works for me :3