OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Tuesday, March 17

#7009

QUESTION: Anyone have any input on how much to work during school? I'm currently holding down a full-time 40hr week night shift at a crappy factory and trying to keep my grades up. How much do you work during university or how many of you don't work at all? Pros and cons please :) -a struggling student

14 comments

  1. Are you going to school to study and get good grades, or to work full time at a crappy factory job? Decide.

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  2. why do you need to work full-time? OSAP, bursaries and a part-time job was sufficient for me.

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    1. I helped my family out with money this year.

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  3. This term I got enough from OSAP to cover tuition and rent, but that's it. I work 10 hours a week to afford food/clothing/etc. Marks are more important; you have loads of time to work after. Money may be tight, but at least I have enough spare time to be heavily involved with clubs on campus because I think there is also a lot of value in making connections with people.
    Remember, not all debt is 'bad' debt. This is an investment on your future and has the potential to yield a high return.

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    1. Out of curiosity...what type of job are you doing at 10hr/week? I would like to work for 10 hours, but I find it difficult to find places that are ok with those hours.

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  4. Don't work any harder than you need to. Once you can afford tuition, rent, and food with the amount of osap you get and working, don't take more hours if it will harm your grades. It is better to live cheap and get some debt than drop out with debt and no degree

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  5. It depends on your personal situation imo. If your full-time job is somehow related to your field I would suggest looking into alternatives if needed. If you qualify for OSAP or scholarships I would look into that as well as you may be able to cut back to part-time hours or the like. But if your situation demands you to work full-time, ie. bills and tuition costs not covered, then I would use it to your advantage. Later when applying for employment bring up that you attended studies full-time in addition to working full-time on the side. Employers like people who can manage their time effectively.

    It's not uncommon imo to work full-time and study. I work full time in trades/technical fields and also attend two full-time programs at two universities in two different cities along with pet projects/start-ups. It can be done. It just keep me busy. Assess your situation and act accordingly. Good luck.

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  6. I work full time and do 2-3 classes per term. Yes it's taking a bit longer (only an extra year if you do summers!) but it's so worth it as far as stress levels. I also find that I enjoy and absorb the material more because I have "down time" (minimum wage easy job) to digest it.

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  7. It may not apply to you, but here's my honest experience (cautionary tale, even). I worked F/T during first year. Barely passed some of my classes, and my highest grade was a 79% on my first term. I nearly starved myself in second year by working 12 hours/ week only and pulled 92s to 96s. I could not sustain myself on such small income and had to go back to working F/T when third year rolled around. I then failed two of my core courses and it's now going to take me an extra two terms to graduate, because of it. Good luck.

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    1. 8 here again. I should probably add that when I was working F/T it included weekends and shift work, so I did not have one day a week that was both off work and school. Sleeping pattern was really screwed up, too. I'd suggest you also look at how your work hours will be distributed throughout the week, not just the amount of hours.

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  8. I have never worked during school terms though I do work full time with co-op so money isn't really an issue. I don't know what program you are but in engineering where i am, I don't have a ton of free time so whatever free time I do have i'd prefer to keep it free. If I was in another program with <20hrs total class, I may consider working a few days a week though anything beyond part time school with 40hrs a week would be busy IMO. I would suggest you make a good EXCEL schedule of your week. Find out when your classes are, where you can fit in time to do readings, assignments, labs etc. From there you can see how much time you have left to budget for work, sleep and some time to relax/ socialize. If this is a legitimate financial issue and you cannot get money from other sources such as OSAP, you may want to consider reducing your course load to part time.

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    1. Thank very much for your helpful answer :)

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