As a work-study student in the admissions office, many prospective students ask me if people work in the program, if it’s possible, and if not, how on earth does anyone make ends meet?
When I first came to GSSW for orientation, I remember worrying about my future schedule, consisting of work-study, internship, class time, and a part -time work schedule. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it and wondered if anyone else was experiencing the same sense of hesitancy. On that first day, I sat next to a woman who, it turned out, had a full-time job, kids, and was in the full-time 2-year program! I decided to keep my little worries to myself as it became clear that others had similar if not more demanding schedules.
What I’ve learned over the past year and a quarter is that, yes, working and going to school is possible. Not only is it possible, many of my classmates make it happen. We are all under the stress of an intensive program but we all also need to eat and have shelter. So, my answer to prospective students is “yes, it is in fact more than possible to work and go to school.”
For those of you entering the two-year program full-time, I would suggest keeping a part-time work schedule. I find that if my work-time exceeds 20 hours a week, I become a bit frazzled. I also think it’s important to find jobs that are somewhat flexible; after all, during the quarter, you may need to pull an all-nighter or cut your hours a bit, but for the rest of the year, your schedules open up. Lastly, I would remind you that you are not alone and that many in this program are both going to school and trying to sustain life (and that both are important to succeed).