Full-time work, full-time student?

As of recent, I hold many feelings of uneasiness or dissonance whenever I think about my last year at Elmhurst College. Why? Well… it has hardly anything to do with it being my last year at Elmhurst. These feelings all stem from my unknown work schedule. Currently, I am employed at several different jobs, so I have a couple of different options for the fall. However, something inside me is not letting me settle for these jobs. They are all part-time jobs I have had before. I guess what’s keeping me from committing to them is that I want something that pays more and will be closer to my career field. A large part of me wants to not worry about jobs and income and instead focus solely on my studies at Elmhurst… but an even larger part of me wants to continue to develop professionally and not hold off just because I am in school. With that being said, do I keep my Fall schedule as planned with only night classes and seek a full-time Mon-Fri, 9-5 job? Or, do I choose classes I am most interested in and find any type of job that will fit that class schedule? There are pros and cons to each option.


I am most drawn to finding full-time work because I am at a place right now that my school schedule can finally allow for me to obtain more professional experience that has been previously limited. Not only will it be at least another year of experience under my belt, but I will have a sufficient income- salaried even- to afford the study abroad I want to go on, my mini vacation to Las Vegas, a conference to California, and a conference to Arizona, and an alternative spring break trip with Habitat for Humanity, while at the same time paying off my car/insurance/gas. Plus, working a full-time job will get me paid vacation time so I do not have to worry about making ends meet while travelling. Ideally, I would like to move out again as well, because my current living situation is not conducive for many of my important needs. On top of that, once my car is paid off, I plan to trade it in for a vehicle that does not get 18 mpg! Because let me tell you… commuting with that is $$$$$$. Also, I can potentially find myself at an amazing company that could potentially help pay for grad school… that’s kind of more important that any of the previously mentioned items.


With all of these incredible goals in mind it is hard to let myself be at ease with my current working situation. However, as I think about what my actual weekly schedule will look like and consider everything I will be missing out on… it is hard to commit to full-time work as well! I would not be able to participate in and experience all those daytime on-campus events. If I wanted to continue Active Minds, I would need to hold the meetings at night. I will not make as many connections and see all of my friends during the day as I had this year. I will be forced to do my homework on the weekend, leaving virtually no free time. I really need to think about- not what I want as far as reaching my goals- but realistically consider what I need to remain stress-free throughout the year. Some of those needs include: staying involved, seeing friends, having free time to go out and enjoy life, at least 5 hours every week to just stay up to date with my own life (emails, chores, errands, etc.). Would I be sacrificing these needs? Or would I be able to maintain some sort of balance? I would enjoy a set schedule… something I have rarely had in my life due to changing work hours… so I know a balance would be easier to find. Would I end up spending more money just because I am making more money?


Conclusion: I might as well apply for some of these jobs and see if I get them… and if I do, why not try it out? And after typing all of this out… I am definitely going to consult my job coaches on this dilemma….