The Struggle of Working and Going To School Full Time

There will be a time in your life when you have to slave away to capitalist America while, at the same time, devoting your life to the future you, who will probably thank you for the degree you’re working towards. For me, it just so happens that that time is now.  For all you people out there that have been going to school and working full time... kudos. I feel your pain. Everyone wants to grow up and get a big girl apartment, get a job, and go to school and do it all so fabulously like they have you believe in the Carrie Diaries. They lied. It isn’t fabulous, it’s all a big lie to get you onto the conveyor belt of life.

I’m currently working full-time at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, part-time in a shop in Brooklyn while going to school and being a person who exists and breaths. That doesn’t even count my role as a friend, a girlfriend, a sorority member, a daughter, a sister, and an overall member of society. HOW do I even have time for all of that? 

To tell you the truth, I struggle. There is a continuous struggle trying to balance all of this while ensuring that I get the best possible education and search for an internship so that I can get the job of my dreams. None of this is easy, and none of this is what I asked for. I would have loved to just focus on school and myself. But that’s really not the case.

For a lot of other students in America do the same. They go to school, work, and internships, all while attempting to maintain friendships, relationships, and making time for themselves. I have to say, we’re super awesome.

However, I’m not here to tell you that it’s all bad. I’m here to encourage you to keep going and to embrace this independent, strong, and powerful self that you are developing by going through this struggle. You will make it and you will succeed! You will be the person that you were always meant to be, the person you’ve always dreamt of being, and the person that your 8-year-old self would be in awe of.

Although not everything requires a struggle to attain, I think instead of sulking in the struggle, we should focus on embracing it and turning it into perseverance. Here are 10 other things I do to keep my vision clear:

  1. Try and wake up a little earlier than you would like. Trust me, the days are limited (especially with work and school) and we need to soak in the sun. 
  2. Eat whatever will make you feel comfortable and happy if it’s oatmeal then great and if it’s a donut, that’s cool too. 
  3. Try and exercise. Pick something that will make you happy and motivate you. If you hate the gym, try swimming. If you like to bike, do that. If yoga or dancing is for you, then go in headfirst. 
  4. Attempt journaling. My therapist always says that it’s important to write down your thoughts, go back to them, and see if things have changed. 
  5. Another tip from my therapist: add ‘maybe’ to your negative thoughts. There is power in saying “maybe today will be a bad day” instead of “today will be a bad day.” 
  6. Limit your technology use. It’s great, I know, but disconnect and let yourself unwind. 
  7. Put yourself first. It’s okay to say no to that extra shift. 
  8. Shower and bathe. Take that extra minute in there to finish your favorite song, even if you’re cutting it close for work.  
  9. Remind yourself every day that this job and EVERYTHING in life itself is temporary. For the better or for the worse. 
  10. Enjoy and embrace the situations and positions you are in. Life would not have put you here if it thought you couldn’t handle it.