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Hi Everyone,

So I haven't been officially accepted yet but I have recently completed a group interview at Silberman School of Social Work for their Two Year MSW program and I think it went very well. I am excited because I really wanted to get into this school due to its low tuition cost and because I feel the program is right for me. That being said, now that I have a very real possibility of getting into this program I am starting to become very stressed out about what I will do if I actually get in. I ALMOST regret applying this year!!

So, my conundrum is that it is a full-time program (no part time option available) and according to the staff you go to class for two days (5 classes total I think) and attend your assigned field practicum for 3 days a week. Total taking up 5 days a week. I don't know quite what the actual hours are like for class and practicum, just that I will be doing something school related Mon-Fri. However, the practicum is unpaid! So, I am really stressing out about how to work while I am in school and the prospect of having to give up my job (I work 40 hours a week 12pm to 8pm at a homeless shelter). I thought about doing overnight, late-night, and weekends. I am trying to avoid overnight work or work that is TOO late because I really do not want to burn out and would like to be able to focus on learning and avoid mindlessly grinding through this period of life. I would have a long commute as well.

That being said, I have nothing inherently against going to school full-time and not working in general. Ideally, I would like to give my education a lot of attention. In undergrad I did not work (although I had multiple time consuming internships).

I don't feel comfortable not working this time around however because I desperately want to be more independent. I am in my mid twenties and still live with my parents, I also lived with them through undergrad and commuted to school. I am also afraid of taking on too much because I am in a serious committed relationship that I have obligations to as well. My boyfriend is very eager to move in together but I can't afford it right now and if I can't work or must work/make less then I will really have to post-pone moving out (I am afraid this will cause problems in my relationship which is more stress for me). Similarly, I feel like not having a job is a step-backwards for me because I went so long without having my own money and largely relying on others even for basic things. In addition, I don't anticipate having quite as much help this time around either so I really need money to support myself even if I stay living with my parents. 

Anyway, I realize a lot of this is very much my subjective wants and worries but I want to be honest about my concerns and learn from all of you. Right now, I am considering finding a job that I can work from home or one that is just on the weekends but I guess I might really need to stay at my parents house.. I really don't want to though and am desperate for a change of pace/scenery. Like, I really want to live a different life than I did in undergrad. I know mid-twenties is not THAT old and honestly I know more than a dozen other people who still live with their families because the ny-metro area is just expensive like that but yeah...

I honestly would've considered saving up more money and post-pone graduate studies instead of applying when I did so I can at least focus on moving out and stuff.. however it is very difficult to find a well paying job in my desired field and my end-game of becoming a clinical social worker is not possible without the masters/licensure so I can't really make much more money or achieve my goals without trucking on with my edu.

I know working and going to school is very possible depending on your program/field of study, financial situation / amount of support, and many other things. My boyfriend doesn't make that much (more than me) but will not be able to support me through school (I know some people do that). I just would like any insight or advice anyone would have for me in this particular situation. Also, if anyone has any real experience with completing this program then please share!  

Thank you!

 

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  • 2 months later...

Firstly, check if your school has a deferment option should you choose to work your butt off and make more money for savings before you enroll in school. That will help you know what timeline you are working with to take some stress off your shoulders and evaluate what needs come before you getting your advanced degree. For example, it might make sense to pick up some extra time at your current job or pick up a smaller high paying job on the side for 6 months to bring up your savings (I'm thinking maybe tutoring if you can find one that pays $20/hr or nanny-ing). Certainly not glamorous, but less stressful than figuring out how to add 40 hours of work into a PACKED schedule.

My honest outsiders perspective (I do not know you, your boyfriend, or your parents): if you are passionate about getting your masters and want it to happen sooner than later, then staying at your parents for those two years will be worth it. Remove the stress that you don't have to take on. If your boyfriend is understanding of the pressure and money it takes to move while studying, he'll be there when you graduate ready to move forward with you. Prioritize your goals and take some deep breaths!

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You would be amazed how many people your age and older stay with their parents, and you have a good excuse. Even a part time MSW program is going to have the 2-3 days of interning every week for 2 years after a year of part time 3 classes a semester or quarter work. 2 years will fly by and you will be done. You can freak out and try to find a way to make everything happen all on hour own, or go with the flow, have a rich experience in grad school, and move out when you are done and earning more money with your MSW. 

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I am doing it with my partners support, i think its really important to have a plan to be sucessful at a project like school. I need help to do this, for sure. Your quality of life could be greatly increased by working less and spending less on housing. Doesn't have to be all or nothing, you can take a quarter off and see if you like it, or work part time or both or etc etc.

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Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for responding. Your comments were very helpful and actually do put me somewhat at ease. I honestly might re-read them from time to time if my anxieties about the situation flair up again. I have somewhat made my peace with living at home and so far my boyfriend has not pressed me terribly about the moving issue. I feel excited about school (got accepted and registered!!) although I am still a bit worried about how to handle my job as well as full-time studies. 

I will be pretty much completely occupied with class/field practicum Monday-Friday, 9AM - 6pmish and every day I will be doing a ~2 hour commute home and back (4 hours total every day). In addition, I've been transferred internally at my job and will be working (per diem) overnight on Fridays and Saturdays... I won't be making as much money (not that I was making a ton before) and I'm a little concerned about how the overnight schedule will affect me mentally/physically over time but I'm glad I have SOME kind of employment. I had been looking for other jobs but it was truly difficult to find something that suited my school schedule. I'll probably keep applying to different things in case I can't handle it.

But yeah, If anyone else has anything else to say on the original post then I would still love to hear more people's thoughts and insight. Any thoughts/advice about this schedule would be welcome too! 

Thank you!!!

 

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I'm also in my mid-twenties, still living with my parents and am pursuing an MSW next Fall. My parents actually don't want me to move out while I'm still in school in order for me to save some money. This is nothing to be ashamed of, I think we're actually quite lucky to be in the position we're in with parents as supportive as the ones we have. 

However, my parents aren't paying for my universities studies because they cannot. One option would be look for scholarships (internal to your uni or external), it's often worth it.

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It's really not like the good old days our parents grew up in where you worked at some basic job and made enough money to pay rent, tuition, eat, and every 5 years buy a new car. Seriously if you live in a populous state it's insane how expensive living is. You hear stories about people who somehow managed to be full time med students on the deans list while working 2 jobs full time and raising a child, plus walking up hill both on the way to and from grad school. There are only so many hours in a week. We all need to sleep so we can think, that's at least 6 hours a day ideally 8. We need a day to decompress a little, I mean you should have at least 1 day you can kinda chill, unless you want to burn out. How well do you think people do in a 5 day a week, 5 classes a quarter masters program when there is zero self care. If you need to work to survive, so be it, but if you have a roof over your head and can take out some loans, apply for stipend programs and grants etc, you don't have to work over night and go crazy. I mean maybe you are tougher than me, no friggin way I'd be doing a full time MSW and working over night plus weekends. Like 75 percent of school work is done at home, it's reading, researching, writing, you know all too well. These things take time. In undergrad you can stretch it a bit, you can wing it sometimes, but this is important now. I just think many of the imaginary standards we hold ourselves to are unrealistic and unhealthy. I'm going to personally maybe work 1 day a week while I'm in the MSW program, full time in the summer, take out loans, apply for aid and grants and take advantage of the fact that I'm super lucky to have a place I can live for next to nothing staying with my mom. I hate living with my mom, she loves it, I love her, but it's very awkward. The deal is though it's worth it, cause 2 years in the grad scheme ain't crap, I'll be earning a livable wage after that 2 year point and the rest will be history. I say cut yourself some slack, give yourself enough room to do a good job and learn something while you are in school, and people who have a problem with it probably don't really know what they are talking about and over exaggerate their uphill battle of pulling themselves up by their boot straps. It's not 1955 anymore, it's not 1985, it's 2017 and it sucks. Thank you and God bless America.

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One thing to consider is work study or on campus jobs. They might be a lot more flexible to your hours and let you say, take more time off around finals and work more in school breaks, etc. When I was an undergrad I had a workstudy job at the library and sometimes I would do an 80 minute shift between classes. Awesome!

Will overnights let you double dip a little and do homework? If so, that's worth a lot of dedicated time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I applied for work study and inquired about it but they said they would get back to me in OCTOBER :( and I was essentially wait listed for it I think. But yeah, would have liked a job like that. Currently, yeah once things die down and most of the residence are in their rooms asleep then I have some time to potentially read / do homework. !!! I'm trying to look at that as the silver lining but it is a bit harder to concentrate during those hours X_X

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