Grad school, full time job, and a baby...

Controller_7Controller_7 4,052 Posts
edited November 2010 in Strut Central
I start school in January. I work full time and we've got a one year old daughter. Anybody else go back to school while working and raising kids? I graduated from college almost ten years ago and the idea of doing homework has me shook.

Any similar experiences, advice?

  Comments


  • AlmondAlmond 1,427 Posts
    What type program will you be pursuing? I'm currently a grad student of economics and I work part-time. The program was manageable in the beginning, but at this point it is brutal.

    I have 1-2 assignments per class due every week and spend a good deal of time crunching data in Stata and EViews. My program is pretty small (10-20 students in my year). Only 2 students have kids and only 2 or 3 work full-time.

    I strongly suggest working part-time or not at all. It helps to have an understanding employer as well. I'm young, single, childless and have a supportive family and it's still hard.

  • JUDJUD 82 Posts
    I'm just finishing my master's in information studies. The first semester was rough, mostly getting used to the rhythm of things, but the following semesters were not bad, though always hectic. There have definitely been people in my program doing what you're doing, but they didn't look happy. I worked part-time and supplemented with more flexible TA and GRA positions, but it sounds like you may be attached to a real-world job. Where are you going to school for library science? Feel free to PM with any questions.

  • JimsterJimster The Cruffiton liveth. 6,555 Posts
    Controller_7 said:
    I start school in January. I work full time and we've got a one year old daughter. Anybody else go back to school while working and raising kids? I graduated from college almost ten years ago and the idea of doing homework has me shook.

    Any similar experiences, advice?

    I have studied for professional exams at home after putting in a full day, it's brutal because we've got two youngins and you need to spend time with everyone to keep all the plates spinning, so to speak. I don't know if you plan to do your studying before or after the kids are in bed, or are you delegating all that to the wifey :~ ?

    I had a slot between 8 and 10 PM to do the studying. The enemy for me was the creeping hand of sleep (6:20 AM starts to day).

    Sit at a desk, not the comfy sofa. Sofas have mad hypnotism skills.
    Sit in bright light.
    Don't eat a massive meal beforehand.
    Take a drink break every 15-30 mins.
    Be writing sh1t down. You remember more of what you write than what you read. If you can read it out loud back to yourself, this is also better than just poring over pages of text.
    I found that trying to cram more than a few hours in was not productive. But then, I am old. Your local experience may vary.

    Good luck.

  • I started law school the week after my 20th high school reunion.

  • nzshadownzshadow 5,516 Posts
    J i m s t e r said:
    Controller_7 said:
    I start school in January. I work full time and we've got a one year old daughter. Anybody else go back to school while working and raising kids? I graduated from college almost ten years ago and the idea of doing homework has me shook.

    Any similar experiences, advice?

    I have studied for professional exams at home after putting in a full day, it's brutal because we've got two youngins and you need to spend time with everyone to keep all the plates spinning, so to speak. I don't know if you plan to do your studying before or after the kids are in bed, or are you delegating all that to the wifey :~ ?

    I had a slot between 8 and 10 PM to do the studying. The enemy for me was the creeping hand of sleep (6:20 AM starts to day).

    Sit at a desk, not the comfy sofa. Sofas have mad hypnotism skills.
    Sit in bright light.
    Don't eat a massive meal beforehand.
    Take a drink break every 15-30 mins.
    Be writing sh1t down. You remember more of what you write than what you read. If you can read it out loud back to yourself, this is also better than just poring over pages of text.
    I found that trying to cram more than a few hours in was not productive. But then, I am old. Your local experience may vary.

    Good luck.

    This.

    I was working fulltime and 1/2 way throgh a business degree when we had our first son. its hard, but you just have to plan well, stick to your schedule and knuckle down.

    good luck.

  • Thanks for the advice. I think following a strict plan will be my best bet. I'll only have a few hours each night if I want to stay sane. I can pull a few late nighters, but I plan on keeping my daughters routine the same, so my school work will start when she's asleep.

    It's library science at sjsu, which is all online. I know its doable, but it is totally less than desirable right now. Now is better than later though.

    Thanks for the ideas. I need to set up absorb space.

  • I did grad school while raising a two year old, but I was only working part time. It was intense, especially because of all the reading required, and I was one of those students who had to read everything before class or I would not pay attention. I spent pretty much all my spare time reading. I'd have to go to the library to write papers, couldn't do it at home. My wife, and sister who was living close to us at that time, helped me out a lot with the kid. You'll need a good amount of support, but you can do it, set a schedule and stick to it.

  • Controller_7 said:

    It's library science

    dude- there's the answer to your worries. don't even sweat it. they may try to take up your time, but none of the shit is rocket science. It's actually not a science at all, despite what they call it. Library school is a joke. Don't get me wrong- it's a great profession + i am happy with my career. But the schooling just amounts to busy work. You just have to go through the motions. The fact that you wrote in complete sentences in your post without spelling or grammatical mistakes tells me that you will get through fine.

    now if you actually want an education with your diploma, do an internship or field placement for your program. This is the kind of job where you don't learn it in a classroom. But sorry i'm giving you advice you didn't ask for now. good luck!

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,032 Posts
    Controller_7 said:
    Thanks for the advice. I think following a strict plan will be my best bet. I'll only have a few hours each night if I want to stay sane. I can pull a few late nighters, but I plan on keeping my daughters routine the same, so my school work will start when she's asleep.

    It's library science at sjsu, which is all online. I know its doable, but it is totally less than desirable right now. Now is better than later though.

    Thanks for the ideas. I need to set up absorb space.

    Ha! You're in the same program as my wife, who also started this semester. She just asked me, "he's in my program? What's his name?"

    Me: "Ummmm...Controller 7?"

    My wife: *hard stare*

    (She had 220 w/ Critchfield and 202 w/ Weedman. Last name Mizota)

    In any case, in her case, she's working two part time gigs (arts criticism for the LA Times +(cataloging movie posters for the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences), has a "baby" too (though our daughter's 5) but she feels your pain. This semester has kicked her ass and as the spouse, I went from hanging out with my wife a few hours every night to basically only seeing her for dinner and then right before bed time (unless it's the weekend and even then, she's working 1-2 hours those nights).

    There's just no easy way around most of this. I think it'd help if she had less group projects to work on; those have been a massive time suck and maybe you've had the same experience too. On her own, she's pretty efficient with getting through the work but it's still one of those things where, especially in the first semester, it's going to be bad given the readjustment. I've told her that it'll probably be easier next semester once she gets a feel for being back in school. Regardless though, the work never really "ends". You always have to use some spare time in the evenings and weekends to play catch-up and that's just the reality of it so long as your weekdays are taken up by work.

    With a one year old though, there are some upsides and some downsides. Hopefully he/she still naps once or twice a day which would give the primary caretakers a break to do other stuff. And depending on their chill level, maybe you can get away with studying while they're in the room, staring up from a pack n' play or something like that.

  • My wife keeps urging me to go to grad school. We have a 4 month old. I can't imagine going back right now though. It would probably be different if I knew what program I wanted to enter, but going to school just to go to school is out. My wife got her MSW a few years ago, before we even had a baby and that was tough. Like O said, it is tough only seeing your spouse for an hour or less a day.

  • Yes, I have been told that library science is not terribly difficult, just busy work. I've been working in a large public library for awhile now and I do a little bit of everything from circ to reference to programming. I actually love my job. The degree is a way to push the financial ceiling higher.

    O, I start in January, but that is crazy that your wife is in the same program. And it's Tommy or To**y in soulstrut.

  • DJFerrariDJFerrari 2,411 Posts
    Wow... that's a lot to handle at once, but I'm sure you'll rock it... just gotta be efficient. Like I always say... if you want to get something done, ask a busy person!

  • congrats on deciding to pursue something you really enjoy.

    i like garcia's advice about reading the material before the lecture.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,032 Posts
    Controller_7 said:
    Yes, I have been told that library science is not terribly difficult, just busy work. I've been working in a large public library for awhile now and I do a little bit of everything from circ to reference to programming. I actually love my job. The degree is a way to push the financial ceiling higher.

    O, I start in January, but that is crazy that your wife is in the same program. And it's Tommy or To**y in soulstrut.

    Actually, i seem to know a slew of folks getting their MS in library/info science; it's become a popular "going back to school degree" since it's flexible in terms of its application but not overly "fuzzy". And since there's only two programs in CA - SJSU and UCLA - and SJ's is the only online one, a ton of folks gravitate to it.

    Based on her experience, it's the workload that's at issue and it seems that, even as an online program, it's surprisingly inefficient. Avoid group work if you can. And if you can't pick your partners well! Aim for the asynchronous classes which are more flexible, scheduling-wise.

  • I'm in grad school for molecular biology and I can't imagine trying to juggle an outside job too, much less a job and a kid. I barely find time to surf. I just took a GA-ship and am living poor.

    20 hours in the lab yesterday, probably another 10 today.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts

  • 2 year ago when I was working on my MBA I worked full-time at night and had a part-time job on the weekend. I had a full course of classes and was in a relationship at the time. It was tiring with not much sleep on the weekends,no free time,a demanding work schedule. After I graduated it felt like a 1000 pounds was lifted off of me. Recently I've been thinking about going back to school but IDK if I have the tenacity. Plus the $$$ the recuiter quoted on a 36 month program is redic!

  • I just started working towards a MLIS this past fall albeit it's on the other side of the country.
    first semester (almost) done, so far so good. Lots of theory/gazing at your navel-type stuff early, but the workload was nothing like what I saw my lady undertake to get her JD (nor should it be, I guess).

    I'm not a parent, but I am working quite a bit in an academic library (mostly reference but some circulation stuff, too) and I haven't had too many major problems. procrastination has been my biggest enemy...that and blackboard discussion groups.

    if you stay disciplined, you'll be good. easier said than done, but I think you're 100% right about the importance of having a routine.

  • Controller_7Controller_7 4,052 Posts


    Update: Just turned in my last assignment ever. I'm done. The thought of never having to stay up late to do homework feels good.

  • nzshadownzshadow 5,516 Posts
    Controller_7 said:


    Update: Just turned in my last assignment ever. I'm done. The thought of never having to stay up late to do homework feels good.

    HELL YES.

    Well done man, It's bloody hard but you did it, congratulations.





  • AndreBretonAndreBreton 344 Posts
    Controller_7 said:
    I start school in January. I work full time and we've got a one year old daughter. Anybody else go back to school while working and raising kids? I graduated from college almost ten years ago and the idea of doing homework has me shook.

    Any similar experiences, advice?

    Good on you, mate. I have no advice for you because I have none of the above, but I know my step father pulled it off when I was growing up, and he still had time to give me attention, so it's doable.

    Best

  • SunfadeSunfade 799 Posts
    sabadabada said:
    I started law school the week after my 20th high school reunion.

    That rules. Thanks for some inspiration information.

  • DawhudDawhud 213 Posts
    My wife's been working on her MBA and I'm honestly glad she's taking next quarter off. She's doing fine, but pretty much all of her free time is spent on studying/projects. Just happy to have her back for a term.

  • hogginthefogghogginthefogg 6,098 Posts
    Congrats, Tommy! That's an incredible achievement; I'm really happy for you. You made a difficult choice and did difficult things for great reasons. That's gotta feel good.

  • Controller_7Controller_7 4,052 Posts
    Thanks Alan and Ross. It's definitely a relief to be done. We had another kid along the way, so I haven't really had free time or slept in quite a while. I'm just looking forward to watching movies and playing video games when everyone goes to sleep instead of reading articles and writing papers.
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