A letter writer wonders how “normal people” manage both at the same time.
Have you thought about working part-time, asks our elder.
I need a job but I need to be at school. If I try and do both of them at the same time like normal people, one will suffer more than the other. I’ll be stressing on if I’m doing a good job and getting good grades. I don’t know what to do or who to turn to. If I ask my sister for help, she’ll call me lazy and compare me to my dad and say I’ll be just like him because I have no job and I just want people to do stuff for me. If I ask my best friend, she’ll say that I don’t wanna work hard for my life since a good majority of the world works and goes to school at the same time and they are doing just fine. So why would my situation be difficult? Also, if I ask my mom she’ll just tell me how everybody around me has or are about to get their diplomas, or working in their field and tell me to go faster and be more focused on school. I’m so lost. I don’t feel like I can do both like normal people can
I can tell you seem overwhelmed with the prospect of working and going to school and I hope I can give you some helpful advice. You didn’t give your age so I am going to assume you have just recently started college, which means you are still a bit young and haven’t had too much experience in these things.
Your family and friends are right to an extent. There are a lot of people who work and go to school, so that shows it can be done. It’s no different than a parent taking care of a household, raising kids and working full time, or someone who works one job full-time during the week and a part-time job on the weekend. Doing multiple things requires energy, commitment, and good time management. It also requires a lot of self-discipline, which I think is probably the most important aspect. I will admit, though, that going to school full-time and working full-time during the week is pretty hard. I think you would have more success if right now you worked only on weekends if you can manage that financially. It would be better than not working at all.
As far as school is concerned, making sure you make it to class and are properly prepared, completing school projects and studying for exams should be your number one daily priority. It requires having a daily schedule and sticking to it. Do some research online for articles on how to improve self-discipline and time-management skills. Make a daily checklist of tasks you need to complete for that day- and stick to it. When I have a lot to do, I make a checklist and mark things off as I get them done. Being able to see tasks on the list keeps me motivated, particularly when I am able to cross things off. Doing all these things will help ensure you are successful in your school work.
A part-time job should not create a lot of stress for you if you find something you like and are trained properly so you feel comfortable carrying out your responsibilities. If you work on the weekends, that should enable to to keep school and work somewhat separate. As I said before, maybe you can start out working on weekends first to see how it goes. I think that is a pretty good compromise.
The last thing I would like to mention is an attitude. You said, “I don’t feel like I can do both like normal people can”. You have already convinced yourself you can’t. As long as you keep telling yourself you can’t do something, you will never accomplish it. New things are always difficult in the beginning but get easier as you gain experience, knowledge, and wisdom. I think you are probably much more able than you think. You just need some self-confidence and encouragement. Give things a try, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. Someone may know a better or easier way to do something or give you some advice you had not considered before. School guidance counselors are a great resource.
I hope my advice will be helpful to you. I wish you the very best in your efforts and I hope things work out well for you. Please write to EWC again if you need more advice.
Letter #: 431983