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To Quit or not to Quit

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Lashaeot, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Lashaeot

    Lashaeot New Member
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    Dilemma: I currently work as an Occupational Therapist in a dynamic huge Teaching University Hospital. Starting this summer I will begin a full time post-bacc program which will take me 1 1/2 years to complete. My supervisor offered me the opportunity to keep my job (which I love) and to either work on the weekends or weekends plus one weekday in order to keep all of my benefits. Although this opportunity presents me with the chance to earn money and hold on to my medical benefits, I don't want anything to get in the way of school. Applying yourself to multiple commitments can be arduous, especially when you’re trying to pull close to a 4.0. If anyone has or is currently taking a full course load of prerequisites and is still working or not. Please tell me of your experience (good or ugly).......
     
  2. Tired Pigeon

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    Definitely it will be more challenging to keep working, but there are several things that argue in favor of this route:

    1. Holding on to benefits plus some income; the importance of this, especially with regard to benefits, should not be underestimated (if you are independently wealthy and have excellent other insurance, disregard this statement).

    2. Continuing a strong track record of clinical experience/patient interaction -- this looks good on your application.

    3. Maintaining a good relationship with your supervisor -- this is someone who can write you an outstanding letter of recommendation.

    4. Having a lot going on means you will be forced to get really good at time management if you're not already. This skill will be VERY important once you get into med school.

    5. You love your job -- don't give up something that's such a big positive in your life.

    Anyway, that's my $0.02.

    Good luck to you!
     
  3. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Here is the advice that I give my undergraduate students about working and attending school with a full-time load. First, it is very difficult to work full-time and even attend school part time. Either your school work (GPA) or your employment will suffer and in most cases, it's the school work that suffers.

    Second, you state that you are attempting to "try to pull close to a 4.0" in classes that can be described as challenging for most people. Unless you know that you can easily master your post bacc material, you may be setting yourself up for obtaining lower grades in exchange for benefits.

    Third, I totally understand that you need to have health benefits and that you need to have an income. Non-traditional students have the additional disadvantage of having to both provide for family and maintain their high GPAs. It's not fair but it's life. Be very aware of the difficulties of the situation that you may be placing yourself in.

    Finally, figure out how the consequences of cutting back on your class work at the first sign of trouble. You need to have a Plan B in case you find that you just cannot maintain your GPA and your work schedule. Given a choice of abandonment of income/health benefits for school, I would choose to keep income/health benefits and cut back on school demands. There is no penalty for taking longer, getting higher grades and keeping your income/benefits. There is a huge penalty for trying to rush this process, not attaining a high GPA and thus not being able to get into medical school. If it takes you longer than 1 and 1/2 years to finish your post bacc classes, what difference does it make (other than time) if you finish them with a 4.0 and get into medical school? The extra time would definitely be worth it.

    Good luck and kudos to your supervisor for trying to work with you so that you have a shot at doing both school and work. Just be sure that you can devote the highest quality of time to both. :)
     
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  4. Nasrudin

    Nasrudin Apropos of Nothing
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    You came to the right place. We got your ugly, your real ugly, your fell-out-the-ugly-tree-and-hit-every-branch-on-the-way-down ugly, and even some norcal hella ugly.

    For reals though. i've been working and full-time and completing my degree--but similar to your post-bac in that i'm thirtysomething and returning to school. I've carried a 3.96 so far with about 3 classes/semester. But now the ugly part. Relationship struggles, severe health issues, and feeling like I just took a a couple of years off my life.

    The thing is now that i'm nearing the end in much better shape I don't actually attribute the bad side-effects to the logistics themselves so much as lack of stress management.

    I think you could avoid any adverse side-effects of running full-tilt for a long time by not worrying so much. Easier said than done of course, but nevertheless a necessary life skill for all of us. The ones who learn how to stay positive, relaxed, and not scared of some ominous outcome will have better health and quality of life as they work their way through the process....which as i'm sure you are aware is ridiculously long--one more reason not to stress so much. good luck!

    p.s. The keeping of the job is up to you. Although you will here casual advice to not work that is the flippant result of the luxury of not having to, that makes that assumption. Do the most you can with the resources you have. If you don't need to, then consider not doing so to load up on classes.
     
  5. Tired Pigeon

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    This is EXCELLENT advice.
     
  6. PepperMD

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    I second much of the advice given, particularly regarding taking your time. That being said, work and school can definitely be done if you're sure you've got a system down. I work in a hospital with a similar schedule to what your boss is suggesting (second shift, 3 out of 4 weekends + every Tuesday), all while taking 16+ hours for the past 4 semesters pulling 4.0s across the board (including Orgo II, Physics, Upper Bio, etc). I don't mention this to say I'm some super-stud, but to give a perspective on the sheer amount of effort required to pull this off. Every free moment needs to be appropriately planned to maximize efficiency and often success comes at the expense of sleep. Many a Sunday night I come home at midnight from an 8-hour shift only to work until 3 on a 10-page lab report. So yes, it can be done, but you need to shovel constantly to keep from being buried. Good luck!
     
  7. OP
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    Lashaeot

    Lashaeot New Member
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    Thank you for all your responses
     
  8. OP
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    Lashaeot

    Lashaeot New Member
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    Thanks, You give me hope
     
  9. Nasem

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    I am in the SAME exact position as you....

    I currently work as a Software designer, my bosses like me so much they were willing to give me a flexible schedule to let me go back to school and complete my pre-dental requirements. So far, I am attending MSU and taking Gen Chem I along with the Lab. I am finding enough time to study for my class and work but the problem is, I HAVE A LOT OF pre-reqs to finish (chem II, orgo I and II along with lab, and Biology I and II), so

    This coming September, I am saying good bye to my job (btw I love my job too) and I am going full time to school to finish my pre-reqs.... reason why I am doing this is because I CAN NOT AFFORD anything that will jeopardize me getting (at least) 3.5 gpa or higher.
     
  10. Ben26TPA

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    It can be done. I was a flight attendant for almost 7 years before quitting to go back to school. I have been working as a Patient Care Tech at a Dialysis clinic full time and going to school full time taking 15 + hours every semester while still being able to maintain my 4.0.

    I go to class Mon and Wed from 8am - 8pm and Tues from 8am - 12. My work schedule is Tues 2p - 9p, Thurs and Fri 430a-630p, and Sat 5a - 7p.

    My schedule is CRAZY but I do it because I love it. I've always HATED it when someone told me that I couldn't do something and that if I were going to school full time that I wouldn't be able to work full time. Not true. I am finishing up my 2nd year of college pretty much on this schedule and I still have a 4.0 (knock on wood)

    But the down side to this is I only have one day off, which is sunday. I usually try and catch up on sleep that day and take care of all my other responsibilities. I rarely have time for friends and if I do go out with them it's not for very long. I am ALWAYS studying, in traffic for work and school, between classes, between patient shifts, and of course during my breaks. You can do it. The only thing though is that I get tired, but it fades. If I were working any other job I don't think I could do it because I enjoy working with my patients and it makes it all worth it to me. I hope this helps and I wish you luck!!!
     

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