Written by Penelope Seagrave, Human Computer Interaction Certificate
Working full-time while attending classes in the evening has been quite an exciting juggling act. I have completed my audiobook, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, which should provide sufficient explanation for how much driving I’ve had to do to accommodate this lifestyle (for those who don’t know, this book is over 1000 pages – also, definitely recommend). I’ve sacrificed many precious Sundays and weekday evenings to the Tisch Library. My evening exercise routine has now become a distant memory. I’ve even had to ask for an extension on this very blog assignment. Nonetheless, the satisfaction I receive from working towards this dream of mine has made the whole experience so fulfilling and worth it.
I get to spend my once expendable free time with those who share my interests and listening to brilliant professors explain theories and studies that are beyond fascinating to me. My assignments, while challenging and often time consuming, are so enjoyable for me. I absolutely love learning and I especially love learning the material covered in the Human-Computer Interaction Certificate.
I am so happy to be studying at Tufts. The pursuance of this dream more than outweighs the sacrifices I’ve had to make for it. I truly do believe that you can always find time for the things that matter to you.
That being said, beside my excitement and positive approach to this experience, there are definitely a few tips I have for those considering working full time while pursuing graduate school:
- Get a planner, one you enjoy using and can manage carrying with you. Mine has alpacas on the front cover. It is important to stay on top of deadlines – both work and school. It’s nice and comforting to know that you are organized and it substantially reduces the chaos that comes with balancing all of your obligations.
- Make friends with your classmates and, more importantly, your teammates. If you can look forward to spending your cherished weekends and evenings with people you can laugh with, it makes all the difference.
- Get an audiobook or find a podcast you enjoy listening to. You’re most likely going to be driving or taking the T quite a lot. Instead of seeing this as an idle waste of time, devote this opportunity to learning something new and it won’t feel like such an expense.
- Classes aren’t free. Be sure to understand how much your program is going to cost, and make sure to plan ahead. Of course, it will all be worth it in the end.
- Take the classes that fascinate you. Now that you are no longer are an undergrad, you should have a better sense of what you enjoy and want to understand. Pursue your interests and class will be full of exciting wonder and curiosity.
This has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I am so happy to be back in school and learning. Working makes it possible, and allows me to make headway in my career at the same time. I strongly recommend considering this option if you are able to.