It’s not easy juggling a full-time career and studies at the same time.
This does not mean it is impossible or not worth pursuing. If anything, it can contribute to your personal growth, discipline and organization.
I struggled with both when I first began my undergraduate studies. My situation consisted of attending school full-time while working as a jewelry designer part-time.
Fresh out of high school, I made the decision to move to a new city, Los Angeles, CA. The unfamiliar surroundings scared me, but also excited me. I viewed it as a fresh start and a new beginning.
Photo of myself and a few acquaintances I made during my first orientation. July, 2012
A few short weeks after, school began. Soon after that, I started my new part-time job. First. Job. EVER. Boy, was I excited! (no sarcasm) I made friends fairly quickly, and began settling into my new home. Taking it all in…because that’s all I could do. My excitement of the new environment overwhelmed me so much that it became a distraction.
Eventually, the 9-6 and 1-9 shifts at work began to wear me down. I’d dread the moment of waking up to drive through hell (my version of LA traffic) to get to work…only to have to park a mile away and walk to the store, because let’s be real…there is no way in hell I’m paying up to $20.00 a day to work. So that was my decision. Annoying as it was, I saw the positivity in this. I was exercising (which was not a regular thing for me on a normal basis).
My exhaustion caught up to me and began affecting my school work. Procrastination became my frenemy. Although I always turned my work in on time, the lack of passion showed in the quality of my work. After a harsh critique one day – realization hit me. I needed to turn my words and promises to myself of completing my work into actions.
As my freshman year of college was coming to an end, I was preparing for my move back to Texas. I couldn’t change my grades for the past courses I had taken, but I could improve the quality of the projects I had done, and begin showcasing my determination in the future ones.
I never stopped working or going to school. Two months after my move to TX, my transfer to campus in TX was a success and I had enrolled in the work-study program at school. Six months later, found a growth opportunity with one of the nation’s top Real Estate Management Companies where I invested up to 2.5 years.
Don’t get me wrong, there were MANY ups & downs throughout my journey, many of them being downs, but I kept going.
My recommendations for making this experience a positive experience are:
- Stay optimistic & positive.
- Don’t be afraid of failure, how else would you learn?
- Take control of your actions and the outcome.
- Stay organized and 1 day ahead of yourself!
- Have a loving support system.
So NO. It is not easy juggling a full-time job and studies at the same time. I’m still doing it as I earn my masters, but this time I am in a position that I do not consider it just a job. This is my career and the beginning to my life’s task. I’m living back in Los Angeles and have learned to be a little more patient, and take things day-by-day with a long-term goal.
If yourself or someone you know has decided to take a similar path as this, give them props. That is an investment that will get you someplace you want to be. In the future, when I look back on this post, I will be reminded of how far I have come and to embrace every moment that is to come.
Tah Tah for now,