Transition from full time working adult to full time student

Posted by: Sogapeach

Transition from full time working adult to full time student - 10/18/2005 19:28 PM

I was so glad to find a site where a lot of adults in the real world are in the same boat I am. Like me you're not willing to be satisified with your life as it is and want to better the opportunities in life by achieving a better education. I'm 31, single with no children and it's been 13 years since I graduated from H.S. I'm regretful to have let this much time go by without having completed a college degree. I kick myself when I stop to realize by now I could have earned up to 3 degrees but better late than never.

I've started the process of researching what I'd like to study and I've become very interested in pursuing a B.A. in Dental Hygiene, but my problem is that at some point to complete the course I'd have to change my schedule for an extended period of time to take required coursed/labs that are day only classes. In the past I used this as an excuse that I couldn't pursue a particular study because of this requirement. I recently asked someone in the schools career counseling department how did people who worked full time manage to switch their schedule to make the transition? The short answer was- they just do and I can't grasp being able to 'just do it'.
My job is daytime only, and I'd have to quit and possibly find work elsewhere at a lower pay scale- and that is frightening. My current budget isn't very flexible. I could get extra work on a part time basis to pay off a few bills or save up for the transition period, but working more hours at another dead end job isn't my priority, it's to go back to college and I need to prioritize time in my schedule for attending classes and studying to do well- not work more.

So my question is for anyone who's been on their own in this situation and had to make a serious sacrifice like giving up that steady income for a better life how did you do it? How did you make college the priority yet manage to keep a balance so that you could basically keep a roof over your head? Thanks in advance for sharing your stories!
Posted by: tt82

Re: Transition from full time working adult to full time student - 10/19/2005 10:05 AM

You can do it. You would be surprised at how much money you really waste. First you need to start saving. Put the money aside for mortgage/rent. Make sure your car is paid off and all of the maintenance is up to date. The last thing you want to worry about is transportation. Pay off all of your credit cards (if you can). I havenít worked since April and I do not know how I would be able to take these classes if I did. Donít put your dream off any longer. If you are not able to go full time, at least take two classes a semester. You can gradually work your way up. Most schools have night and on-line classes. The sacrifices you make now will be worth it!!!
Posted by: Never Disparaging

Re: Transition from full time working adult to full time student - 10/19/2005 17:50 PM


Going back to school after having a full-time job is very difficult as I have done that myself. There was never any question as to whether or not I wanted to go back but whether or not I can manage it financially. When we have a steady income, we also build up "steady" debt. My full-time was very stressful and the thought of going to work each morning made me literally ill. This is when I decided to leave my job and go back to school. I had to take out student loans for the first year because of the income I received the year before but I was able to get grants and scholarships afterwards. I had to move to a smaller apartment and get a roommate to help pay the bills. My credit went down the drain but my logic told me that credit can always be repaired and creditors cannot take my degree away from me. Although I struggled financially for four years, I finally got my degree in Biology and a job that I love. This was worth more to me than a bag of diamonds. Now, I just need to start repairing my credit which I can do over the next couple of years. Your decision should be based on what your heart tells you. If you want something bad enough, don't allow anything else to get in the way...especially fear. Please follow your passion. You will be so happy that you did. You have to believe in yourself first! You will gain support along the way. I hope this message gives you a little encouragement. Good luck!
Posted by: bronxite

Re: Transition from full time working adult to full time student - 10/21/2005 05:55 AM

I was laid off in January and so I'm using my unemployment insurance, which includes a training grant, to complete a 4 yr degree in 2 years. I'm almost half-way through my degree and my'm currently looking for a part-time gig that wouldn't de-rail me from my fast-track approach to a 4 yr degree(GPA 3.9) from one of the top schools in the US. Thatlay-off was a God-send.
Posted by: Sogapeach

Re: Transition from full time working adult to full time student - 10/22/2005 19:47 PM

Many thanks to all of you for your comments and advice. I can't tell you how incredibly helpful and encouraging it's been.
Posted by: Jagnut

Re: Transition from full time working adult to full time student - 12/01/2005 13:52 PM

Boy, everyone's advice sure helped me! I am a 45 yr. old with a dream to graduate into the Resp. Therapy Care world. My boys are U.S. Army Soldiers, so I'm pretty much free at night (husband works 2nd shift), and I've worked full-time my entire life. My husband is very supportive, but I'm wondering whether to go full- or part-time. After reading this board, I want to go full time and work around it. I read online that by cutting your working hrs. by 10 hrs, that pay cut averages near $2,300 and that it's well worth it (less time in college). Thanks everyone for the encouragement! I'll definitely be back on this website to encourage others!!!
Posted by: mochi1620

Re: Transition from full time working adult to full time student - 12/09/2005 12:05 PM

I strongly recommend taking out lots of student loans to prevent you from having to work a lot while in school. The last thing you want to do is to make sacrifices to go back to school, and end up not doing well because you were working too much.

I disagree with the attitude that 'credit can always be repaired.' Take out enough loans so that you aren't in that predicament. It takes seven years before any bad credit history is completely removed from your record- not worth the wait!
Posted by: Chris@WVU

Re: Transition from full time working adult to full time student - 08/31/2012 09:29 AM

I'm strongly considering returning to school full-time. I had hoped to return to school part-time but after looking deep within myself I realized that the major I was pursuing was all wrong. My company would pay for me to attend school but only if I went for a certain type of degree. My job is now moving me to new section that will make it nearly impossible to study, attend classes and pursue the degree recommended by my company. After much debate, my wife and I have decided to make going to back to school full-time a priority. However, there are many factors to consider and much research required to make this work.

I have an unused GI Bill that will pay for school in full. It will pay up to $2000 a year towards books as well as money to help with housing, food, etc. If my GI Bill isn't used within 10 years of leaving the military, it disappears. I intend on using it one way or another. A second factor in this equation is that we are in the process of adopting 2 children. It could be within the next 6 months but will be happening.

My problem is that we don't think we can do it financially. We are close but not quite there. We have no debt other than a reasonable house payment. We have to consider health insurance and expenses. My wife works for the state and can get health insurance but it will deplete her paycheck leaving only the money from my GI Bill to cover costs. If I don't pursue this, there is a really good chance I could lose my GI Bill all together before I find another window of opportunity like the one I have now.

Any ideas on how to supplement my income or find financial aid to assist in living expenses? Remember, school is paid for.