Working While Going to School Improved my Time Management!!

Document created by hannahdinah on Nov 4, 2015Last modified by amara.mastronardi@socialedgeconsulting.com on Dec 5, 2016
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I began college when I was 48 years old. My 4 children had all grown and left home. I had not completed high school. I had a job working 15 hours a week and a friend convinced me to go to college. I signed up at Whatcom Community College. Eventually I stopped working as it was very hard to do both work and school. I was on Social Security Disability, receiving 754.00 a month. My grades were average and I was moving towards an AS in Criminal Justice. My last Winter quarter, part of my disability benefit was taken away and I was left with a benefit of $181.00 a month. It was not enough to live on or get to school. I travel 30 miles round trip and I live out in an area where there is no public transportation. I had to get a job. I was so worried it would be too much to take on. I have limited work skills. I was worried no one would hire me and have the hours that would work with my school schedule. I had 2 quarters to go and I didn't want to have to drop school this close to the finish line. I spoke to a man who owns a cab company. He gave me a job just before Winter quarter ended, I was taking 3 classes Winter quarter and was signed up for 4 classes my last quarter; Spring quarter. I took the job working nights. Wednesdays and Thursdays 6 pm - midnight and Friday and Saturdays 9 pm  - 3 am and Sundays 5 pm - 5 am. By doing all these hours I had to use a calendar to schedule every thing. Classes, homework, sleeping, eating and homework and housework. I followed my schedule to the letter, achieving 4 A's my last quarter and this bumped my GPA up to 3.51, just enough to graduate with honors, and my grades from Winter quarter put me on the deans list. I had applied for Western Washington University Winter quarter and while working in Spring quarter I was accepted to WWU and Fairhaven College. When I began attending WWU I could not maintain that work schedule but I networked and met another cab owner who was able to be more flexible and now I just work driving cab when I have free time and I am still doing well at school taking 4 classes again this quarter. I believe starting that night shift while taking 4 classes made me buckle down and manage my school load better than when I had no job. If it wasn't for that job, I don;t think I would have graduated with honors. I am very excited to have been accepted into WWU to complete my education and I love driving cab. I also am now tutoring 4 hours a week back at Whatcom Community College and modeling in the Fine Arts department 3 hours a month at WWU. Deciding to work at night changed my whole outlook on school. I am 52 now and 2 years away from an interdisciplinary BA with a concentration in Advocacy, Diversity, and Social Justice!! Yeah, school and Yeah working!!! Hannah     

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