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Full-time job and school--how do you do it?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by relentless11, May 4, 2004.

  1. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    Hi there,

    With the rising costs of tuition in the UC system, i've been forced to find more than one job to work at so i can keep going to school. I'm wondering how you guys do it?

    I'm currently working about 30-40hrs a week for my research lab, so i can pay for my living expenses, and part of my tuition. I also work for the US Army which pays for the rest of my tuition. I'm going to start teaching middle school kids so that i can have more breathing room as tuition (and gas prices) continue to rise:(.

    Of course, I am dedicated to do my best in all of these areas, whether it is academic or job related, but does anyone have any tips? I'm currently holding the line, and retaining my sanity, so whatever i'm doing, its working. But I do feel the pressure. I have to admit though, you guys that have to work, go to school, and take care of a family, I have a lot of respect for you all.
     
  2. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Well, my situation is slightly different. I am working fulltime and studying for the MCAT (was studying and will be taking it again in August I'd wager).

    I try to set up a schedule, make sure I'll be home by a certain time every night. I make sure to allow myself a couple of hours rest (my chill out time) where I will cook something fast and easy (here I'd make sure to do a lot of prep work on the weekends so dinner is fast and easy). Then I get my relax time in---this is very important for me, I do not want to burn out before I start med school!. After that I study or do anything academically related (essays, research etc).

    On the weekends, I make sure to set aside big chunks of time to study. And I use shopping trips and errands as breaks between studying time. I also go out to eat dinner with my friends on the weekends as a way to spend time with them, and I figure, I gotta eat anyway. :rolleyes: But I make sure to come back after to do my chores and/or study.

    I guess my social life has suffered as a result, but this is what I do to maintain good standing at work while putting in the study time. :)
     
  3. MzzMisty

    MzzMisty Member
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    Well it comes down to strict time management.. i have two full time jobs and go to school full time and its not easy... but think of why your doing it in the long run... just keep yourself on a type of schedule and make sure to schedule in some time for yourself otherwise you might lose your marbles... good luck... Misty
     
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  4. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
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    Evening classes, late nights, and homework on the weekend
     
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  5. DRANTWAN

    DRANTWAN Member
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    Its hard. I dont have any time for nothin but school and work.
     
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  6. curlycity

    curlycity Guest

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    I say, take out loans, quit a job and get some sleep. That's just me though...I mean, you should make *some* happy memories while you're young. You're going to be really busy during residency and while establishing your career. But that's just me. I know lots of people don't want debt hanging over their head.
     
  7. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    worked 40+ hours while taking 17-22 units a semester along with other ECs....

    once you get into a rhythm its not that bad. sure you wont start your studying or hw till about midnight...but i was fortunate to have been one of those kids that didnt really need a lot of sleep...i think i averaged around 3-4 hours a schoolnight.

    my grades did suffer, but i was able to do put in a good effort on everything i needed to do.
     
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  8. DRANTWAN

    DRANTWAN Member
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    I got mad respect for you Jlee I hope u get in med school man. I work 20-30 hours a week at Blockbuster. Its aight you get free movies haha
     
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  9. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    thanks bro...even though my gpa was below almost every medical school's averages...i got into 3 respectable schools and waiting on ucla.

    once you get used to a schedule...you learn how to study with it adequately and your grades start to go up again...i mean i knew i wouldnt get all As haha...but i was hoping to get Bs and some As...and i knew some Cs would be inevitable...

    but all the interviewers i had all commented positively about my experiences in ugrad. so it was all good.
     
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  10. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    It sucks, but it can be done. For a large majority of my fellow students that I am graduating with, we all worked at least part time, if not full time with additional part time jobs.

    I will echo the same words that everyone else is in here. TIME MANAGEMENT is key. You need to make a list of all the things you plan to do. If you find yourself with not enough hours in the day, or no time for sleep, you need to find out an alternate path--i.e. Student Loans for Cost of Living, etc.

    I hope all works out for you. P.M. if you have any questions.

    -Tom
     
  11. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    Thanks for the great info! Yea i have to agree time management is the key. I think if i learn something from this LONG experience, it would be how to efficiently manage my time.

    I'm at the point where i'm weighing my options though. I definately need another years worth of $$ to go to school. With regards to loans, i would like to hold that off as long as i can since i dont' want to go into debt before even getting into med school. My options are pretty much:

    1) Apply to a near by cal-state university in an undergrad program so i can be eligible for FAFSA.
    2) Apply to grad school.
    3) Apply to my UC for same reasons as #1.
    4) Go to JC for cheaper and more flexible classes.
    5) Continue taking classes through UC Extension.

    My problem is that (according to UCD) despite my GPA making me eligible for getting into a post-bacc program, my MCAT score (they said a 34 was too high.....how ironic), and the fact i'm not a URM or challenged by society in some manner would rule me out of the UC post-bacc programs. So that idea is gone.

    For grad school, my best shot would be UCD, since my research professor would gladly sponsor me, but my GPA is below the required GPA for UC grad schools. Additionally, my advisors have told me to stick with upper division courses vs. graduate courses.

    With regards to taking classes at the JC, it has come to the point where nearly all of the science classes at the JC are either not available to me due to the fact that i've taken higher level classes or they aren't really applicable to my situation. Since i graduated as biochemistry, and completed many pre-reqs in the past year for biomedical engineering, my curriculum have encompassed my biological, and physical sciences. So the best place to find more challenging courses would be at a 4-year university.

    Which brings me to the final two choices of reapplying to either UCD or Cal State Sacramento as an undergrad again. I know UCD probably would be biased against me since they have always stated that they discourage second bachelors degrees. I dont' know how Sac State will look at me, and really i'm not sure what i'm classified as. Am I a first time freshman? or a transfer student? or a graduate student?

    Can anyone think of any other options? I'm willing to take the courses, and work the job, aslong as I have the $$ to pay for it all. Just need to figure out the best way to go at it.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the help!
     
  12. docjolly

    docjolly On Cloud Nine, Once Again
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    I can empathize with almost everyone here...

    I'm a NYC Department of Education science teacher..Teaching isn't simply a 9-5 type of job. When I leave work, I have to take papers/exams home to grade, lesson plans to create, and a whole slew of other things..Having 150 students doesn't help this at all :D It's a very very difficult job. Making matters much worse is my desire to study diligently for the MCAT. I am sometimes discouraged by the sheer volume of my workload. But it is possible.

    I definitely agree with many of the posters above that in order to work full time and study, you need two things: a well-written schedule for studying, and some "ME" time. The schedule may be a bit hard to follow diligently, but once you start it and stick to it, I'm sure you'll be fine :)
     
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