Going Back to School while Working

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Can't afford to quit; need school for career change

May 2003

Is it possible to work full-time (40 hours), hold an additional part-time job (evenings) and take classes? I ask because I currently work full-time and I would like to take some evening classes this summer and fall (need a career change), but I don't have enough money to pay for them. Since I cannot enroll full-time or even part-time for a degree or certificate (because of my full-time job), I cannot get financial assistance. I would like to get a part-time job on the side working some evenings when I am not in class and all day Saturday and Sunday. So I will be working one full-time job, one part-time job and taking about 2 classes a week. Does anyone else do this? How does this work out for you? Opinions either way is appreciated. Anonymous

When I was working on my masters and working full time, I could only take one class a week. I tried two, but felt that I was doing nothing well and everything poorly. There must be some financial aid or loans that you can take advantage of. I would advise to keep looking. When would you study if you were working all of those hours? When would your children see you? anon

I am a single parent of 5 yr old twins, I work full time and also I have a part-time job on the weekends. This semester I've recently returned to school to pursue my nursing degree. I will admit its very difficult juggling everything but It's worth it. I'm truly happy because I'm doing something that is satisfying to me. I do get very guilty because I'm not there for my twins the way I want to be. I've also disrupted their schedule on the nights I'm in school meaning they go to bed later and still have to wake up early in the morning. But I've talked to them and con't to talk to them about how important this is for mommy and things will not always be this way. HOw much they understand I'm not sure but I feel if I stop then I'm cheating them out of a better life and also myself. So you have to just decide on whats best for you and your family and go from there. It is difficult but you'll make it through. I am. J'Nell

Yes it is possible I am doing it now. But I took three classes this semester and it is tough. I ususally take only two classes. You have to be totally committed to this decision. I have two jobs a husband and two teens. My husband is supportive of my efforts and this is very helpful. All of my classes are online. There is no way I could do it all and make it into a classroom too. My life is completely full with no time for any luxuries. I have been doing it for the past year and a half and I am almost done. Though it is very stressful, it is also very satisfying. Now that I am so close to the end I find I am going to miss my classmates who have been in many of my classes.

I discussed this committment with my husband and made it clear that I am going to be very preoccupied for a while. This summer I plan on committing my attention to my family for their support of my education. I am hoping this will all lead to a better job, because I am going to need it to help pay back all the student loans.

If you are truly committed to taking on this adventure you can do it. But make sure you are mentally prepared for the pressure of school. You also need to be prepared for no social life, less exercise, and lots of reading and sitting. Good luck in your decision. You can do it if you put your mind to it!