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Dear Dr. Syl,
How do you manage to be a full-time student and full-time employee without the support or help from anybody, not even family or friends?
-Full-Time Work and School
Dear Full-Time Work and School,
It can be a lonely path to work and go to school full time but it will eventually have a fruitful outcome. I remember the feeling of being overwhelmed with school and work but not having anyone close in my life to be able to support my path. The main reason typically was not because they did not want to support me, but because they did not know how to. They did not understand what I was going through so they did not know what ways they could be supportive.
Since I was a commuter student, I did not manage to get involved with organizations that would help me meet people who were going through the same thing. With my full schedule, I had little time to socialize on campus with students who had similar lifestyles. For that reason, I felt less supported by my surroundings.
The good news is that there are things you can do to improve the situation. First, it is important to know that although the people you care about do not understand what you are going through, there are many other people that have successfully worked full time while they went to school full time. One suggestion I would give is to talk to friends and family about the stressful or overwhelming experiences you face with work and school. Help them understand what you are going through and why you are going through it.
You can also let them know what they can do to be supportive or how they can help. I always let me parents know when I was doing finals so they would know to give me space. My mom would cook comfort foods during that week so that I could at least enjoy a nice dinner before a long night of studying.
Another tip I suggest is to enjoy your winter and summer breaks. During the winter and summer, I usually continued to work full time but since I did not have to worry about school, I made sure I scheduled a time to socialize, relax and really enjoy the time off. It is important to have a balance and not overwork yourself so make sure you enjoy the upcoming winter break.
Good luck with finals!
From Dr. Syl
P.S.- If you have any questions you would like answered, please submit them here. Stay tuned for the next segment of Ask Dr. Syl every 15th of the month!!