(Crossfire between the corporate world and earning another degree)
If there is one thing in this world I am very good at, it could be my individualism and ability to do multitasking almost every day (I’m not saying I can do it with ease but let’s say I’m kinda immune into the demanding pressures I must required to do.) While some need focus to accomplish their tasks, thanks heavens I can handle two or more tasks at the same time.
To support the title of my article, YES I am a working student. And NO this is not my first bachelor degree. It’s actually my second. I graduated last 2012 with finance degree and currently I am striving to earn my accounting diploma. I couldn’t say I love studying. Matter-of-fact, it’s a struggle for me to open my books and review my notes especially if HELL WEEK is coming. HAHAHA! No choice but to choose to review or just take the examination for granted.
If you have a vision for something and you have drawn that picture of success in your mind, you’ll do what it takes to achieve it (even paying the highest price). I believe that education is not age-base, status-looking and PRIVILEGE (Oh well. Let’s scratch the word PRIVILEGE. Check your tuition slips darlings and you’ll know what I mean.) Education will somehow give you a guarantee on landing into a stable position in a corporate world.
I value my career. So much. The feeling of you’re not growing anymore and you are stuck-up in a certain position waiting for a year or two for your raise/promotion pretty much sucks. I work not only for living but also for improvement (well, for the future too!) And so last 2013, I enrolled again and take the BSA course.
I thought balancing studies and work is just like crossing a bridge made up of wooden plank. I was wrong! It is a circus act, the same with crossing a hanging thin wire over hungry crocodiles (kidding!) But seriously, it is a tough step. I work 8-9 hours in the office and spent my 6-7 hours in school. Just imagine the rush and pressures of finishing deadlines and accomplishment reports (Hey boss! Can I at least take my lunch?) and your waiting examinations in Accounting and Taxation (What the! Is this topic discussed during lectures?)
Well I made a list of pros and cons of being a working student…
Sleep is a luxury
We need to sleep 7-8 hours everyday. If you are working and studying at the same time, then bid good bye to this 7-8 hour sleep. You don’t want to be the laughing stock of the class when you answer questions incorrectly, don’t you? You want to pass the examinations and surprise quizzes? Then prepare.
(Disclaimer: I am not the guy in the photo. Mas gwapo pa ako dyan. image courtesy of arbormedicus.com)
Yes. Sleep will all of the sudden becomes your luxury. Your soft bed is waiting, enticing you to lay your body and telling you “indulge yourself into my softness, I will ease your weary body” (Oh! I am not talking porn hereJ). You want to rest after your night class? Well believe me, it is seldom for you to afford rest. You need to stay awake for 3 hours or more to study your lessons. With fully packed routine schedule, it is the bane of your existence. You’re lucky if you can steal a 30 minutes nap during your lunch break.
Dark puffy eye bags, acne break out, irritable feeling and unable to focus due to lack of sleep? Trust me you’ll also get trained and immuned to this kid of lifestyle. My advice to survive? Drink a lot of coffee, at least 17 mugs (hahaha! Kidding) No matter what happens try to sleep at least 7 hours. Lack of sleep will not do you good.
Get ready for setting your health in DESTRUCTION (I’m exaggerating)!
Too much fat is bad. Too much sweet is also bad. Stress eater? How can you resist that dark, delicious chocolate cake in your drawer or that crispy lechon in canteen when the atmosphere in your office is intense in pressure? Not that stress eater? Losing appetite to eat even it’s your favourite dish. Health is an issue of being a working student. They tend to eat all foods that bats their eyes or losing their appetite due to stress. Either of this two habits IT IS NOT HEALTHY!
(It is a diet NO-NO (not your cheat day)!!! Image courtey of icon-mode.com)
You want to hit the gym and pump some irons? Run vigorously in the treadmill? Sometimes it is hard to find time exercising. Before you wear your running shoes you end up fast asleep or caught up between reports and school assignments. My advice? Time management. You may not exercise everyday but 4 to 5 hours of exercise every week is enough. Brisk walking to the office, moderate jogging to school and using stairs than elevator will do good to your body too.
RIP Social Life.
Imagine yourself sitting on your study table. Laptop’s on, books open wide, scratch paper’s everywhere and pens scattered. Then you receive a text message from your high school friend. Saying you should come to his farewell party. He’ll be leaving this country for good and settle abroad. You’re all set to go, wear your ironed suit and that leather Gucci shoes. You’re off to go, then suddenly you just remembered. Deadline for your school project is at 8 a.m the next morning…
And you’re not yet finish. You’re still drafting your report. What will be your choice? To party or not?
(Image courtesy of futramafry.meme.com)
We’ll it doesn’t mean that you’ll gonna end permanently your social life. Say bye-bye for a while in late night booze with friends or officemates, that danceable rhythm of disco music and travel galore. You’ll be reading your notes on weekends, reviewing for the coming departmental exam, rushing your term paper and doing your assignments.
My advice? Try to prioritize things. All work and study will makes you dull. If you’re school project or assignment is due next week and you think you can do it with ease, then you may have that booze on coming weekends. You may shop in your favourite boutique till you drop on Saturday. Have that leisure walk by the country side on Sunday. Just don’t forget your assignments or surprise quizzes..
And the PRO’s
Develop your Sense of Responsibility (Pushing yourself to achieve something)
It’s true! Somehow your sense of responsibility will develop. You’ll learn to balance your priorities. You’ll be more focus to push yourself in achieving your goal. What would be your feeling if you graduated after all these hardships and struggles? Fulfilling isn’t? The feeling of achieving a degree despite of sleepless nights, cramming deadlines of work reports and term paper. It’s a sacrifice. But before gathering the fruits of your labour, you must first pay the price.
(Image courtesy of chrismower.com)
Don’t tell me you’ll be sad upon your graduation. I’ll blow my head-off if you’ll be sad on your graduation day.
Better Working Opportunities (Moolah and Prestige)
You can take your career into next level. If your salary is only Php______.00, you can ask for Php______.00 on your job. You did not pay yourself up to achieve that degree for that mere Php_____.00. What more if you’re a board passer?
You’ll land on a better company, better positions and better salary! Step by step to the corporate ladder you’ll climb upward. Of course, you’ll be a good boss. You have a better foundation when you are still a staff. Money comes in the end. Companies will ask your price. You’ll be able to buy things that you want, provide comfort for your family and invest for your future.
(Every step as it goes higher, it’s harder to climb. Image courtesy of 123rf.com)
But, be sure you are happy on what you are doing. You should find freedom despite of the pressures and stress. Many working students like me stop started pursuing another degree but stopped because of burn-out.
So how if you are planning to get another degree (this might help to those who are trying to earn their first bachelor degree) what are the tip to overcome burn out?
1. Set realistic goal. (Self explanatory and a little bit of cliché. I’m sure you heard of this a lot)
2. Try variety. Having a fixed routine schedule? Try to alter it sometimes.
3. Treat yourself a little reward in any accomplishment you achieve. Got a score of 1.0 in your examinations? Give yourself a treat!
4. Try to turn every mistakes into learning experience.
5. Know your limitations. If only 12 unit’s your limit, why enrolled 21?
6. Surround yourself with people who will say “YOU CAN DO IT!” not those people who will say “CAN YOU DO IT?” and lastly,
7. Stay focus, HAPPY and always SMILE!!! You don’t want to look old due to stress right. Then SMILE, enjoy what you’re doing and be HAPPY!
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein