Lecture/Study/Life balance is an essential component of maneuvering through college and being academically successful. When you add working part time and/or full time as well as being a parent, the balancing act can feel more like you’re walking a tightrope 20 stories high.
I chose to work while in college because working was a necessity for me. Coming from a single parent home, my mom and family couldn’t afford to contribute substantially to my siblings needs and towards my education. And, even after multiple sources of funding, there still was an unmet need. Working helped supplement that void. When I became a parent, working was even more essential, it was my year around means of healthcare, adequate means of transportation, and so on. This lead to an imbalance in my work/school life schedule. And, not only did my academic performance suffer tremendously, but so did my personal outlook on my future.
Working as a full student is probably one of my biggest regrets but it’s also one of the most valuable lessons I have learned. I wish it was different but for majority of the time that I worked while in undergrad I had poor time management, stretched myself to thin and neglected my studies, which was ironically my primary reason for working. It goes a lot deeper than a 300 word post but in summary: I am not the first student to have to work while in college and I am sure I won’t be the last. I learned that this is just another obstacle, I will face in life, a test of my true strength, and an opportunity to exhibit perseverance. I have held several jobs since undergrad and I will continue to work until I enter medical school, because that is my reality (unless I win the lottery ;-) but now I am wiser and I know that I can’t let short term factors take precedent over long term goals.