Juggling Classes, an Internship, and a Job

A question many potential/incoming GSSW students tend to ask is, “Do you think I can work a job while going to graduate school?”  I frequently struggle with the answer to this question, as it is a loaded one.  The answer is dependent on your personality, the job you have, and how many hours you plan to work (among many other variables).  While I would never recommend working 40 hours a week to anyone, I’m sure someone has done it and succeeded.  Some things to consider when making this decision are:

  • How good are you with transitions (as you may be dealing with many transitions such as moving to a new state, new school, new internship)?
  • How well do you plan and manage your time?
  • How necessary is having a job?
  • How flexible is your employer (or potential employer)?
  • How good are you at stress management and self-care?

If you are great at planning and time management, you may be able to make a bigger commitment to a job.  However, if you struggle with stress management and self-care, juggling classes, an internship, and a job may be too much.  There are both pros and cons to working while attending graduate school.  Working while in graduate school may allow you to reduce loans, pay bills, or simply have spending money.  However, while it may be difficult, navigating through graduate school without a job may allow you more time to work on your assignments and practice self-care. 


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