The Work and School combination; does it get better?

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PaulHubert
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04 May 2014, 2:34 pm

I have taken on an internship while taking two difficult computer classes. Between a few technical difficulties, I ended up only being able to take two classes. My intern supervisor/boss took my relatively light schedule into consideration and gave me 25 hours a week. To give you an idea of my natural workload before this semester, I took 4 relatively difficult computer classes and got straight As, I would consider the overall effort a 7, no job or internship on the side. When things got into swing this semester (2 classes, 25 hour work-weeks), it was hell, just an explosion of feeling overwhelmed, becoming angry, mentally exhausted, and choosing not to study (in hind sight one too many times), not letting go of the (3 hour a day) free time I had the semester before, as my own way of coping with the stress. After some CBT with my therapist and talks with my support group, I kind of realized this was a necessary stepping stone to gaining more "mental stamina" in the long term, which would prepare me for a more adult-like schedule (even if I wasn't a rockstar at what I was doing like last semester); there is some flexibility in how capable I am in getting x amount of work done in a day/week. I started to let go of my free time and dive into my studies earlier into my would-be free time slot, and I started getting the hang of it. I had a string of good study weeks where I performed well on my quizes. The problem now is that I am looking at a shaky grades, in a "mastestery-learning" oriented area of study (not by requirement but by the nature gaining certifications in a step-by-step process) , I made it a point of emphasis to avoid asking for fewer hours, as a means to avoid any slippery sloap in terms of making concessions that would potentially downgrade my growing opportunity: I took the advise of my support group, and my gut feelings, to the literal extreme, and as a result, I am possibly looking at a D (which is an F at this school) in one of my classes, and this situation in my other class, where I would have to cheat and look at my notes during an online at-home final in order to pass the class (I could get a B, except it means nothing if I get below 70 on final which would be an automatic fail), and now, given I'm kind of hitting the ceiling of my cramming ability right now (short term picture)..I can't help but start thinking, at what point is it advisable to scale back for the next semester? In my estimation, if didn't have this window of time where I was being lazy with classes to cope with this adjustment period, I would have learned this at a B level, and I really wanted to learn it at an A level, right now I have made up my mind that and A level is my target for summer school classes, that would match my #1 priority goal. The summer school classes would be the equivalent to 4 classes in a semester, I could do the 25 hours and see what happens, it's not impossible per-say to complete the classes with the workload, but I simply cannot afford to be skimming by, we're talking double the work...maybe 15 hours a week.

Ok, I'm listening to myself here and it's helpful, allows me to review and weigh all the information in going forward, but I'm still wondering, how much have you improved in terms of handling work and school? Did if fall short of, meet, or exceed what you thought you were capable of? I mean looking back, is there a wide-spectrum of "amount of work I can handle" ability in aspies that you were blind to and you're seeing now?



Last edited by PaulHubert on 04 May 2014, 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MissDorkness
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04 May 2014, 2:53 pm

It's interesting to read your thought processes.

I always worked full time while in school and knew I didn't devote as much effort to studying as I would like. But, while I gained a lot of understanding from my classes, I was basically just in it for the diploma and as long as I got to that point, I didn't allow myself to stress too much.
A couple of times I had to work harder for a passing grade, and I would take vacation time from work and hide from my family at the county library (quieter than the Uni library)... but, I know that's a luxury of working somewhere a long time.



auntblabby
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04 May 2014, 3:57 pm

I cannot fathom how people can work fulltime and go to school fulltime. that leaves almost no time to recharge the batteries, so to speak.



kraftiekortie
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05 May 2014, 7:56 am

I know what you being about "burning the candle at both ends." I've done that, to a certain extent. I worked full time and went to school part time; it took me 8 years to get my Bachelor's

Is your program flexible as to how much time you could take? If it is, I might consider scaling back. You're a young person. You have time. If you get a "D" in that course you mentioned, I would re-take the course to get a better grade. If they catch you cheating, it wouldn't be good at all.

Which degree will you obtain once you complete the coursework?



MissDorkness
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05 May 2014, 10:50 am

auntblabby wrote:
I cannot fathom how people can work fulltime and go to school fulltime. that leaves almost no time to recharge the batteries, so to speak.

It can drive you mental, I'll grant you that.

Like KraftieKortie experienced, when I worked out the time for graduating going part time (8 years), or the time for going fulltime (3 1/2 years). I made the choice to buckle down and get through it. My choice was less about me and more about my kids, though. I was pregnant with my 2nd when I went back to finish, so, he didn't really miss my first year of college, and he didn't remember my next two. Luckily there were online classes in there to remove the commute factor, and I had a nice long maternity leave, and my husband stays home with the kids.
If it weren't for all of those things, I REALLY wouldn't have been able to make it. I just kept telling myself that the time would pass, whether I was overwhelmed or not, so, might as well do something with that time.
Now, in these 5 years I would have still been in school, I'm enjoying an increased earning power and my evenings and weekends are free for family stuff, or any side work I might want to pick up.

I was a student blogger while at school (I have a hard time saying "no", okay). I think they shut down the blog after I left, so I copied my posts to my own site, I made a post about burnout.



PaulHubert
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06 May 2014, 9:08 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Which degree will you obtain once you complete the coursework?


A diploma in network adminstration, which involves a few certifications, all certifications basically require that you know CCNA like the Bible.



aspie_comic_nerd
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07 May 2014, 4:58 am

I have tried working and going to school. I couldn't finish school because at the time my job was more important. Plus I was taking care of my daughter.

It does get better towards the end but you need a lot of endurance to get there. Even NT's get burned out.