A little step away   2 comments

I know this is supposed to be an academic blog, but I have some questions and I want to ask them of my fellow students.

Have you ever quit a job because of school?

This is my first semester as a full-time student since my first attempt in 2005/2006. I got sick and couldn’t continue, so this is Big and New and Exciting and also massively overwhelming. I’ve been attempting to live the lifestyle to which I am accustomed — buying food whenever I want, being able to stop at Target to get new underwear and socks when I don’t feel like doing laundry. In order to do that and keep up with my bills, I have to work 32-36 hours a week. I got a job at the library, and I got a job at a portrait studio.

This is too much. I’m doing 16 credit hours, when even when I went to school the first time, I had 12. And now I’m working pretty much full-time, because of hours at the portrait studio. I’ve worked for five years to get to this point, and now I just fall asleep whenever I sit down to do my homework, because I am just so tired all the time. I fall asleep on the couch, sleep 10 hours and miss my alarm and show up to class 15 minutes late — regularly.

I need to reduce my expenses. I can. But have any of you ever quit a job because of school? Or even just reduce your hours? How did you word it? How did you reduce your expenses? Any advice?

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Posted November 1, 2011 by agentksilver in Personal

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2 responses to “A little step away

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  1. Yes. I was working in Reston, living in Herndon, (20 minute commute one way) and going to GMU in Fairfax (30 minute commute one way). I did 20 hours a week at work (it was 40 until I started school again). I also was only doing part time at school. (I COULD have done full time, but the one semester I did my fiance got cancer and I was too afraid to commit to a full semester again in case it came back and I’d have to drop the whole course load.)

    Then I got married and moved to Centreville. My GMU commute dropped to 20 minutes, but my work commute jumped to 1 hour one way. (it was only a 16 mile drive! I was INCHING home every day.) After nearly a year of this I was frazzled, stressed and my performance at work and school had dropped to unsatisfactory (for me) levels. My husband was upset that I was miserable (and likely taking it out on him) and encouraged me to make a choice, any choice, and he would support me. I had to decide which was more important, working, or going to school. (Apparently divorce and moving closer to both work and school was not an option.) I decided to go with the school is only temporary and will help me get better jobs route.

    I talked to my boss at my conveniently timed performance review and told her that I could no longer handle the work/school/commute mix. In my particular circumstances I also pointed out that the office was so busy that they needed someone who could give more time to the office than I currently could. I did this at the beginning of the summer, and told her that I could work until the fall semester started, so she had plenty of time to prepare, and I had plenty of time to make the transition easier for them.

    I’m fortunate in having a sugar daddy, but I do try hard to keep my expenses low. I can tell you three things. Don’t make impulse buys, and don’t buy food or books on campus. Do you REALLY need that new name brand jacket? Campus life is only temporary, you’re here to learn, not model. That $1.25 yogurt in the convenience shop? 50 cents at Giant. those measly $4.99 cups o’carrot sticks? You can get 2 BAGS of carrots for that price. And sometimes they have fantastic sales. You can also find guaranteed fresh food at the Dollar Tree, including canned goods and fresh bread if you time it right. The hard part is it’s cheaper to buy in bulk, but you need storage for that.

    I would suggest saving up a little bit before dropping one of your jobs, and taking one or two less classes. It was a little embarrassing for me to have to tell my boss, ‘sorry, I can’t handle this,’ but afterward I was so relieved that my work and stamina improved.

    Good luck!

  2. I’ve definitely quit jobs because of school so I know where you’re coming from (and I’m guilty of buying new underpants when walking down two flights of stairs to the laundry room and spending $4 in quarters just seemed SO hard). I was working bartending so the hours were evening and late at that. The combination of that and taking care of my grandfather, which isn’t too challenging but it was somewhere I had to be for the five o’clock hour before heading out to deal with drunk jerkoffs (I worked in Glover Park) was just totally overwhelming. I made it about a month before I started missing school and ultimately, it wasn’t possible to do all those things and keep up with my school work. This is also not mentioning that I was neglecting the bejeezus out of my lovely dog, Clio. She had companionship but I knew that even with a dog walker, roommates, and canine companions she was hard up for love when I was gone 16+ hours a day.

    As Elaine says, it does suck having to admit that you are incapable of balancing all of your responsibilities but ultimately, it’s actually harder to face the facts then half ass it stringing along. I say try to save up and then think about your priorities, do you want to finish school more than you need to work right now.

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