Working 40+ Hours And Summer Classes: What It's Taught Me

Last summer I had to take three summer classes online through my local college (SUNY Adirondack) while I worked forty hours or more a week as a teller at TD Bank. I figured since the hours at work were mainly from 8:00am-5:00 p.m. every weekday and sometimes 8:00am-12:30 p.m. on Saturdays, I would have more than enough time to do my homework, modules, quizzes and tests. I also thought I would have enough time to relax and spend a lot of time with my family and friends after work and homework every day. I was very very wrong.

Here are some of the things this experience taught me and some suggestions for people who might consider doing the same thing!

1. Time efficiency is incredibly important.

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I have never been the best at being on time, which my friends and family have encountered first hand, but this past summer definitely improved my skills with that. In order to get the large amount of assignments done so I could get to sleep before 1 a.m., I had to make sure I wasn’t distracted while doing homework. I would keep my tv off and my phone on silent to make sure I wasn’t tempted by either so I could get all my work done.

2. Make a set schedule to keep you on track.

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I had a lot of issues when my summer classes first started because I had never really dealt with working and classes. I had always done one or the other, not both at the same time. I give props to people who work full time and are full-time students. I can’t even begin to imagine how they have time for it all, I could barely do it with only three classes. I was staying up until 12:30 a.m. every night to get all my work done because I would eat dinner as soon as I got home at around 5:30 p.m. and do homework after that. I ended up having to create a set schedule for myself during the week so I could make sure I had enough time to not go insane from all the work.

3. Definitely don’t procrastinate.

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One of the biggest mistakes I made was procrastinating on getting my homework done ahead of the day it was due. It piles up fast and I learned very quickly to not wait until the day of to do my assignments.

4. Summer didn’t feel like summer.

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Although it was necessary for me to take those three classes and work last summer, I do regret taking all three at once. I feel like I rarely had time for my family and friends because of the workload and it was horrible having to say no to my niece when she wanted me to play with her or go swimming with her. I wish I had taken less so I had more time to enjoy the summer. It was honestly more work and stress than taking six classes in one semester and working a few hours a week, which I am currently doing and what I did spring semester of last year.

5. Taking a break is necessary.

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There’s no way I took enough breaks in between all of my work. I wished away the summer half the time because it was so stressful. Now when I’m working, I make sure to take tiny breaks every once in a while just to ease my mind and relax a bit.

6. Push through until the end.

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It was a lot of hard work and tough to get through at times, but in the end, I’m glad I got through it. The payoff, in the end, was that I didn’t need to take three difficult classes while working during the summer again.

I wish I had known some of this information before last summer, so if you’re in the same situation as I was or are considering taking summer classes while working, I hope this information helps! Just know it’ll all pay off in the end!