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Author Topic: School and Part-Time Jobs  (Read 4988 times)
Willowe
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« Topic Start: March 10, 2010, 03:40:17 pm »

Forgive me if this isn't the right place to post this, but I couldn't really think of anywhere else it might go.

For those of you who are still in school and also have part-time jobs, what helps you get through those long days? On the days when I work, I leave for school at 7:00 AM and get home at 3:00 PM, then leave for work an hour later and don't get home until 9:00 PM. Most days, I'm lucky if I don't need a cup of coffee (or two!) just before going to work- never mind after work when I'm trying to finish my school assignments!

So, how do you manage? What sort of tricks do you use to help you get through school, work, and the inevitable homework? (Any suggestions for alternatives to caffeine would be greatly appreciated as well! Cheesy)
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Hyacinth Belle
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« Reply #1: March 10, 2010, 07:33:57 pm »

How many hours a week do you work? Check the labor laws in your state too... there should be caps to how late you can work on school nights and weekends and how many hours a week you can work at all.

As for dealing with the long days, that's more of what I have to deal with now rather than in high school. I worked in high school, but I went to cyber school so it worked out easier for me. Now I work an office job up to 30 hours a week during the school year while I go to college. It kind of stinks, but hey, I need money.

My suggestions would be to work ahead at school as much as possible on weekends (or whenever you have off) so you're not so stressed the days you work. This may be easier said than done, but you've got to learn to make it a priority. Also, keep reminding yourself WHY you're working. Saving for a car? College? Spending money? etc. Think about the power and independence making your own money gives you. And if you really hate your job don't forget there's nothing stopping you from looking for another one! Search or keep your eyes out for something else you might enjoy more; it really make the time go faster.

Finally, and for me most importantly, make SLEEP a priority! You'll be useless for your working responsibilities *and* your school work if you're too damn tired to concentrate. Caffeine only goes so far!

Best of luck.
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #2: March 10, 2010, 07:43:09 pm »

Any suggestions for alternatives to caffeine would be greatly appreciated as well!

This might sound silly, but orange juice gives me a much better and longer-lasting boost than caffeine or straight sugar.

FWIW...  Smiley
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Willowe
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« Reply #3: March 10, 2010, 09:21:49 pm »

How many hours a week do you work? Check the labor laws in your state too... there should be caps to how late you can work on school nights and weekends and how many hours a week you can work at all.

<snip>

My suggestions would be to work ahead at school as much as possible on weekends (or whenever you have off) so you're not so stressed the days you work. This may be easier said than done, but you've got to learn to make it a priority. Also, keep reminding yourself WHY you're working. Saving for a car? College? Spending money? etc. Think about the power and independence making your own money gives you. And if you really hate your job don't forget there's nothing stopping you from looking for another one! Search or keep your eyes out for something else you might enjoy more; it really make the time go faster.

Finally, and for me most importantly, make SLEEP a priority! You'll be useless for your working responsibilities *and* your school work if you're too damn tired to concentrate. Caffeine only goes so far!

Best of luck.

I work at a small restaurant, two dinner shifts a week (usually about 4.5-5 hours a shift) and pick up other hours when someone asks me to cover for them. So, not horribly bad- but after a close to 7 hour school day it makes for a really long day! Cheesy (Especially since there are days when I'm doing other, non-work things after school anyway.)

Thanks for the suggestion about working ahead on weekends. I might have to ask my teachers about what assignments would be given the next week but that shouldn't be too much of a problem. Smiley

And I'm quickly finding out about the limitations of caffeine. I'll try to get more sleep, though. Wink

Thank you again!
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« Reply #4: March 10, 2010, 09:26:02 pm »

This might sound silly, but orange juice gives me a much better and longer-lasting boost than caffeine or straight sugar.

FWIW...  Smiley

Really? That's interesting... If it works the same for me, I may have found an alternative to the coffee! Cheesy Thanks!
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« Reply #5: March 10, 2010, 10:11:53 pm »

This might sound silly, but orange juice gives me a much better and longer-lasting boost than caffeine or straight sugar.

I'd also suggest protein.  Something like a hard-boiled egg can keep your energy up without the carbo/caffeine crash.

Brina
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« Reply #6: March 10, 2010, 10:38:03 pm »

I'd also suggest protein.  Something like a hard-boiled egg can keep your energy up without the carbo/caffeine crash.

Same here.  Peanut butter sandwiches and OJ.  Smiley

When I'm pressed for time, a high-protein power bar can really help.  If I'm at home or near a Robek's or Smoothie King, a smoothie with protein powder is also a great pick-me-up.

Everyone is different, though.  Another kind of juice or fruit might work better for you.

Also, in addition to working ahead on your school work, think about prepping food ahead, both so you can save time on food prep when you need to and so you can pack nutritious snacks/meals.  Make things that involve good leftovers, especially leftovers that don't require reheating.  My daughters are in college and very tightly scheduled with classes, homework, and various other activities.  We have several dishes that they can pack in plastic containers and eat on the fly.  Their current favorites are a cous cous and chick peas combo and a black beans and rice dish -- again, good protein and very easy to make and store.

YMMV, of course.
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« Reply #7: March 11, 2010, 12:19:48 am »


And I'm quickly finding out about the limitations of caffeine. I'll try to get more sleep, though. Wink

Thank you again!


Just to friendly hammer in the importance of breaking caffeine addictions: it's story time!

Back in Fall 07 / Spring 08 semester, I worked as the editor of my school paper, a bi-weekly with 3000 circulation. We had a core staff of 3 people including me, and about 10 writers that worked for free due to budget issues. Needless to say, I pretty much slept there during the weekdays, and would go in on weekends since I had 4 classes each semester, in addition to doing some janitorial work (for my grandpa's company, I was spoiled in that regard). To deal with this, I would chug a pot of coffee a day, and combine that with 5 cigarettes! A few months after I quit this cycle, my body went through complete atrophy!

What made that situation perfect, was it coincided with another wonderful event, which ended up giving me ptsd! A couple years later, and I'm finally fit to work well 18 hours per week, while taking 3 classes per semester. Thankfully, I'm down to a cup of coffee a day, along with 2 cigarettes.

Right now, the longest day for me is Wednesdays, as I work as a stock guy for a hardware store and open at 7 a.m. and get off at 12 p.m., from which I rush to my 1 p.m. class. Then, I have a break, and to mellow out I go and pick up comic books (they are always released on Wednesdays, thankfully), and that gears me up for my 7 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. class, and then the drive home!

If you find something to help you regain your personal focus, and bring about a sense of enjoyment, in between your drive from work to school or whatever, it will help. Granted, the side effects of caffeine withdrawal will come upon you either way, but over time things will get better!
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« Reply #8: March 11, 2010, 08:58:18 am »

Really? That's interesting... If it works the same for me, I may have found an alternative to the coffee! Cheesy Thanks!

I also found having a cup of COLD water to just drink throughout the day helpful.  Just the constant act of drinking something can help.

just be sure to schedule potty breaks. Cheesy
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« Reply #9: March 11, 2010, 11:22:07 am »

Really? That's interesting... If it works the same for me, I may have found an alternative to the coffee! Cheesy Thanks!

If you find you can't give up the caffeine completely, tea is a much gentler, longer-lasting caffeine source. A really strong black tea is almost like coffee anyway.  Tongue
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« Reply #10: March 11, 2010, 05:50:11 pm »

Same here.  Peanut butter sandwiches and OJ.  Smiley
Or peanut butter on apple slices! Grin This is often what I'll eat for breakfast. I've read that an apple will wake you up just as much as a cup of coffee, and a sandwich with bread has carbs to slow you down midmorning ("bagels, no!" Sad lol ). Although it usually takes some finagling while driving, if you slice the apple ahead of time and leave an open jar of peanut butter in the cup holder it is possible to use a butter knife to peanut-butter your apple while on the road.

Not that I recommend this for everyone... AND I drive stick. haha. I can also eat brothy soup while driving. lol.
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #11: March 11, 2010, 09:19:33 pm »

Forgive me if this isn't the right place to post this, but I couldn't really think of anywhere else it might go.

For those of you who are still in school and also have part-time jobs, what helps you get through those long days? On the days when I work, I leave for school at 7:00 AM and get home at 3:00 PM, then leave for work an hour later and don't get home until 9:00 PM. Most days, I'm lucky if I don't need a cup of coffee (or two!) just before going to work- never mind after work when I'm trying to finish my school assignments!

So, how do you manage? What sort of tricks do you use to help you get through school, work, and the inevitable homework? (Any suggestions for alternatives to caffeine would be greatly appreciated as well! Cheesy)

I work about 16 hours a week for Rosetta Stone. I work from home, so I can work and do homework at the same time. Sometimes I end up having to work from the time I get home until the time I normally go to bed. Or, work will get busy (I'm getting better changing between Irish and English), and I can't do my homework.

Days like that, I will spend my prep hour doing homework and getting my stuff ready for the next day, and then finish anything I couldn't finish on the bus/train in the morning.

Also: I'm a chai girl. Smiley
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« Reply #12: March 11, 2010, 10:15:23 pm »

Same here.  Peanut butter sandwiches and OJ.  Smiley

When I'm pressed for time, a high-protein power bar can really help.  If I'm at home or near a Robek's or Smoothie King, a smoothie with protein powder is also a great pick-me-up.

I'm not such a big fan of power bars, but a peanut butter sandwich and OJ breakfast is starting to sound like a yummy way to kick off the day. Wink

If you find you can't give up the caffeine completely, tea is a much gentler, longer-lasting caffeine source. A really strong black tea is almost like coffee anyway.  Tongue

Thanks for the suggestion. I don't actually think we have any tea in the house right now (except maybe some mint tea stashed in a dark cupboard somewhere Tongue) but I'll see about maybe picking up some black tea or something.
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« Reply #13: March 12, 2010, 09:07:40 pm »

So, how do you manage? What sort of tricks do you use to help you get through school, work, and the inevitable homework? (Any suggestions for alternatives to caffeine would be greatly appreciated as well! Cheesy)

Well, I may not be a reliable source, given I have a tendency to forsake sleep in favour of studying, but FWIW, here's a few tricks I picked up about a busy schedule:

1.  You will miss some sleep sometimes.  Sometimes, things just converge on you.  Can't be helped.  But make sure you get a good amount of sleep the rest of the time, so you can deal with a couple of four-hour nights.
2.  Make lists.  If you have a diary or organiser, use it.  Make sure you know what you're doing when, so that you can allocate the rest of your time around that.  I find that just the act of making a list for the day will make me feel better about the workload.
3.  Don't forget to take time off, when you can.  The brain needs to rest, and it simply doesn't work as well if you're doing the same thing for hours on end.  Even if you just switch between subjects every half an hour or so, it'll help you to stay attentive.

Well, that's what I find helps, personally.  Sometimes I need to practise what I preach, but hey.   Cheesy
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