Monday, October 24, 2011

How To Manage Working Full Time & Going To School

Great question, Eden!

It started when I signed onto work for my current contract.  The hiring manager knew my path had been scattered at best because of the economic downturn, the loss of my equity in savings/401k/investments (Lehman - hahahahaha, or not), the loss of equity in my house (bank sold for $200k more than what I owed on it - thank you Wells Fargo - can I have that back?), and other "stuff" that had taken my track askew.  I really thought the dream had died last fall when I was broken into, so poor I qualified for food stamps and medical assistance (neither of which I took part in), and did not have the funds to replace books, let alone lecture notes, homework, research.

Fast forward. 

This summer my manager asked if I was going to school this fall and asked what that would look like.  I started playing with schedules.  I still needed to work things out with the university about my tuition from 2009.  Gingerly, I started thinking about class load, work load.

As it turns out, my classes alternate days/times.  On M, W I'm at school over the lunch hour, on T, TH I'm at school in the morning, and then work late those days.  Fridays suck.  Lab + ochem + foundations, I get to work at 4:00 PM and stay until 8:30 - 9 PM. 

This is what I presented to my manager who's only response was, "That seems like an awful lot of hours to be at work, can you do that and maintain your GPA?"  Everything in blue is work time, the green are my classes.

I'm not going to lie, I'm exhausted when I finally get home.  Then I work on ochem or biology until about midnight, then rinse - repeat the next day.  On weekends, I am in the library on Saturday from about 10:30ish to about 6 PM when the security folks kick me out and the area students can stay in, is too noisy (even without snuffling, hacking, wheezing, sniffling, snorting guy).  Come Sunday, I'm at the doors when the library opens at noon, and last night - per usual - I left at 9:30; I'd never left my chair.

When I got home last night, I'd fully intended on doing more ochem but... my earlier post lets everyone know how that worked out for me!  haha :)


NP Odyssey said...

It's hard and there just seems to be enough time to do school, study and survive. Sounds like you are surviving.

P.S. I think every library is required to have the sneezing, snorting, coughing guy.

Eden said...

Thank you so much for the quick response! I have my completed application for a post bac pre-med program sitting on my dresser. I just can't decide if I should mail it, or try to find something else!

What do you do, or where do you work that they give you such awesome flexibility? I'm jealous!

A Doc 2 Be said...

@ NP = you sir, are a smile a day for me!

@ Eden = did you check into DIY? Is there an absolute need for a regimented post-bacc pre-med program?

To be honest, I took a job making $10 to get my foot started in a different field. That led to medical device, that lead to a healthcare company, and that led me to where I'm at now. Yes, it took almost 2 years to come to fruition; time that I've lost trying to get the pre-reqs completed. And yet, I feel like it worked out for the best: I was not in classes while my dad was recovering, nor when I had no food to eat and worried about heat in the house.

I think, for me, just keeping one foot moving forward helped me land where I'm at.

Matthew MacNish said...

New follower here. Nice to meet you!

And I didn't forget Undead, they were on yesterday's post.

Eden said...

My Bachelors degree is in nursing, but I graduated back in 2006 and my grades weren't spectacular because I was also working full time. A post bacc program would probably be a good idea for several reasons. 1 a refresher 2. improve GPA and 3. prep for the MCAT. I have a call into the program to see if I can speak to an advisor. I'm lucky in that my 2 letters of recommendation come from docs I work with.

Thank you again for the tips!

And yes, all libraries have those people that can't seem to figure out how to act in public. It always blows my mind because I think they gravitate toward me. No matter where I try to hide. :)

A Doc 2 Be said...

@ Matthew - thanks for following; did not see the earlier post on undead, will go back and read it. Loved the orc, btw! Orc shamans FTW!

@ Eden - really research post-bacc formal programs... really research them. Your ugrad GPA is closed out after you graduate and any courses after you graduate, show up "beneath the line" so to speak with AMCAS. That, really, is a good thing. Really helps to bifurcate the difference between "then" and "now"...

Eden said...

What would you recommend if I need some of the pre med courses, and just need to improve my grade in others? Would you not do a post bacc program?

Thank you again for all of your help!