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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my husband and I have been going through some relational changes recently. They have been great changes, and we're doing really well. We've been eating healthier and working out together, and I am surprised at what a difference it makes in my emotions when I'm not eating junk food.

Financially we're getting by. I don't currently have a job, but I'm working on becoming certified as a personal trainer and nutritionist so that I can bring in some more income. This excites me, as it will be my career and I will have the certification in around six months from now, so yay!!

My husband is in a job he hates right now. He only has it to pay our bills and support us while he figures out what he wants to pursue. He has goals for us as a couple: he wants to be able to retire, he wants to offer our future children more opportunities than he or I had because our parents were poor, he wants to help with their education, etc. The job he has now is definitely not going to offer an income like that, so he's looking into going to college for a BS in a medical field. In our state it's a needed position and it pays really well.

My question is: has anyone here either worked full time and gone to school full time while also having a family, and/or had a spouse who did that? If so, how did you manage it?

My husband won't be able to start school for a bit yet...this fall at the absolute soonest. I will have finished my certification program by then and, God willing, will have a job as well. As a personal trainer, my schedule will not be the same as his, especially if he's doing full time work and full time school. I am preparing myself to see him a lot less than I see him now, and I'd like to glean some advice from people here on how to make it work. We don't have kids yet, and we aren't planning on having them until he's done with college. But still, even with just the two of us, it seems like it will be difficult to spend a good amount of time together, and since this is something neither of us has had to face(cause we were stupid and decided to marry before either of us had an education under our belt...stupid twenty-year olds...), I was hoping to get some tips on how to make this easier on both of us, and still see each other for more than a kiss good morning and a kiss goodnight.
 

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Full time work and school is very hard. How much of his school work can he do online? Will his classes be in the daytime or evening? Can move his work hours around to accomodate his class times?

Does your husband have any college credits already or will he be starting from scratch?

This is going to be hard on you two and will take a very strong commitment to making your marriage work.

Working different shifts and having little time for each other has a very big negative impact on many marriages. One of the most important things you two can do is to make sure that you two spend every available hour together. Make them special, even if it's just snuggling on the couch.

When my son’s father started medical school, I asked for him to make the commitment to me that they would prioritize open time for us as a couple. He made some smart a$$ comment that he was not going to let me guilt him into anything like that. And of course he did not prioritize our relationship. He ended up cheating a lot and we ended up divorced. The hours a medical student puts in is about equivalent to the kind of hours your husband will be putting in with working full time and going to school full time. The commitment to your relationship has to be the major priority.

Have you looked into financial aid for school? Is there any way that he could use financial aid to reduce the number of hours he will have to work?
 

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I would not advise your husband to work full time and go to school full time because he won't have enough time to do well at both and one area will suffer(job or school).

My husband worked full time and went to school part time in order to get his bachelor's degree(BA). He's taken online classes or night classes in order to make it work. Each class requires a lot of time and effort. Typically they recommend that if you are taking a one day a week class that is 3 hours long, then you need to spend at least 3 hours outside of the classroom studying and reading up on the information you need to know. The general ed classes and lower division classes are not bad, but as you get to the upper division courses, it gets a lot tougher.

Money wise, I wouldn't worry too much about it, as your husband can get financial aid, apply for scholarships, get a student loan, etc. There are always ways to pay the tuition, but it's harder to find the time to get all the work done and keep motivated.

It has taken my husband longer to finish school since he only went part-time, but it worked out the best for us that way. We got to put away more money in savings and really plan better for our future. I'll help him with some homework to spend more time together and he'll try to get most of his work done while I am at work, so we can maximize our us time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for taking the time to respond! :)

Full time work and school is very hard. How much of his school work can he do online? Will his classes be in the daytime or evening? Can move his work hours around to accomodate his class times?
I'm sure that some of his prerequisites can be done mostly online. Biology lectures can be done online, though usually those involve labs once a week and that isn't online. As far as when his classes will be, it will depend on what the community college offers. He's hoping for late afternoon/early evening classes. And he's said that he's going to talk to his boss to see if he can adjust his schedule to accommodate his classes. He's in a union, so by law they're supposed to agree to that, from what I understand.

Does your husband have any college credits already or will he be starting from scratch?
Scratch.

This is going to be hard on you two and will take a very strong commitment to making your marriage work.
This was my greatest worry. He's a hard worker, and I know that he will be able to do both, but I am worried about how our relationship will work. I've told him this, but he hasn't said much about it.

Working different shifts and having little time for each other has a very big negative impact on many marriages. One of the most important things you two can do is to make sure that you two spend every available hour together. Make them special, even if it's just snuggling on the couch.
The nice thing about my job is that my schedule should be fairly adjustable. I'm hoping to be able to spend time with him on lunch, and then in the evenings when he doesn't have school. Of course, I will likely be working in the evenings, but I'm hoping I could work my schedule alongside his so that we have the same evenings off.

When my son’s father started medical school, I asked for him to make the commitment to me that they would prioritize open time for us as a couple. He made some smart a$$ comment that he was not going to let me guilt him into anything like that. And of course he did not prioritize our relationship. He ended up cheating a lot and we ended up divorced. The hours a medical student puts in is about equivalent to the kind of hours your husband will be putting in with working full time and going to school full time. The commitment to your relationship has to be the major priority.
Dang...I'm sorry to hear about your ex. I know our relationship is number one priority. It is for me and it is for him. I want to be supportive too, though. I'm getting the chance to pursue my career, even if that pursuit has been a relatively short one, so I want him to be able to pursue his career too.

Have you looked into financial aid for school? Is there any way that he could use financial aid to reduce the number of hours he will have to work?
He'll get about $2500 per year through the union to help pay for school, and he is definitely going to apply for grants, scholarships and student loans. I'm hoping that, once I have my job, I will have enough clients that he could drop to part time work and we could still pay for our bills and things. However, it often takes time to build clientel so...hopefully by the time he has his prerequisites done he will be able to reduce his working hours.

As much as I'd like to reduce the amount of student loans he has, I've considered having him take the student loans offered to him and just drop to part time anyway. As long as we can afford our rent and food and his classes and books, we'll be fine financially. Of course a lot of this is hypothetical because I have no idea how long it will take me to build my clients, how much I'll get paid, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would not advise your husband to work full time and go to school full time because he won't have enough time to do well at both and one area will suffer(job or school).
He says he thinks he can do it, though he would prefer not to work at all. Of course, if we can't pay our bills...he'll have to work full time.

My husband worked full time and went to school part time in order to get his bachelor's degree(BA). He's taken online classes or night classes in order to make it work. Each class requires a lot of time and effort. Typically they recommend that if you are taking a one day a week class that is 3 hours long, then you need to spend at least 3 hours outside of the classroom studying and reading up on the information you need to know. The general ed classes and lower division classes are not bad, but as you get to the upper division courses, it gets a lot tougher.
That's what I told him. Having done nearly two years of college myself, I'm pretty sure he would be able to work full time and do school full time until upper division classes. 100-200 level classes were simple for me, and he is a really fast learner. It would suck, but I think he could manage. 300-400 level? THAT is where I'm worried.

Money wise, I wouldn't worry too much about it, as your husband can get financial aid, apply for scholarships, get a student loan, etc. There are always ways to pay the tuition, but it's harder to find the time to get all the work done and keep motivated.
Well, paying for the SCHOOL isn't so much my worry as paying all of our bills. I have no idea how much I'll be making when I get my certification. I would gladly be the sole bread winner if we could pay our bills on time and eat.

It has taken my husband longer to finish school since he only went part-time, but it worked out the best for us that way. We got to put away more money in savings and really plan better for our future. I'll help him with some homework to spend more time together and he'll try to get most of his work done while I am at work, so we can maximize our us time.
I've thought about that too, but it would be like...YEARS before he finishes his degree. And I don't want to be thirty three and having our first kid.
 

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My question is: has anyone here either worked full time and gone to school full time while also having a family, and/or had a spouse who did that? If so, how did you manage it?
So I worked full time while attending school 3/4 time (took 4years to graduate for a degree that normally took 3). I will not pretend it is not difficult, but it is possible (assuming you can live on a lot less sleep). Most schools have programs like this, so look into what they are offering. Check community colleges to see if you can get some of the basic courses out of the way and transfer them into the university he wants. The CCs are cheaper, and often have more flexability.

Now, I was not married during this time, but had plenty of classmates that were (many who had kids). For my relationship, my gf (now my wife) realized this was part of our larger goal.

For us, scheduling was key. Most of my life for those four years was scheduled, right down to time with my gf. Doing that helped me make sure we kept our relationship alive. It also helped me avoid being guilty about not always studying (because there is always more you could be doing).

My gf also developed her own life. She went did things without me, got some hobbies, and had to work on not being dependent on me to keep her happy and entertained. Overall, I think we did well with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can see some benefits to attending school full-time. For one, you two are young and don't have children yet. It would be nice to get this out of the way and get on with your lifelong plans and dreams.
That's one reason he wants to do both, work and go to school. He'll finish his degree faster, and we won't be utterly broke through those few years.

I assume you are already living with a bare bones budget. If not, think about doing without for this time while you achieve your goals. Even things like gym memberships and cable are not really necessities.
We don't have cable. We don't even have basic cable. We have the internet, and that's it. Which he would need for online classes and such. And, if I were working at the gym, our memberships would likely be free, so I'm not too worried about that. Other than that, all of our money goes to bills and food and, sometimes, an average date.

Now, I have worked full-time and went to college - only 11 credits which is not quite a full load, but it was incredibly hard. Granted, I had five kids at home at the time. But Anonymous07 is right, one area of your life would likely suffer. This is not to say that it couldn't be done if you are both committed. It is your future, after all!
The way I see it, he can get as much schooling done now, with a good deal of sacrifice from each of us, which would put him graduating right around the time he's thirty, a great age to be setting out into his career. I would already be in mine, and I don't need four years of school to be successful in my field. So we're very much of the mindset that, if he's going to do this, it needs to be done now while we don't have kids or a house payment, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I worked full time while attending school 3/4 time (took 4years to graduate for a degree that normally took 3). I will not pretend it is not difficult, but it is possible (assuming you can live on a lot less sleep). Most schools have programs like this, so look into what they are offering. Check community colleges to see if you can get some of the basic courses out of the way and transfer them into the university he wants. The CCs are cheaper, and often have more flexability.
He's definitely getting his prerequisites at the CC. There's a branch of a CC here in our city, and they offer a lot of online courses as well, which is awesome.

Now, I was not married during this time, but had plenty of classmates that were (many who had kids). For my relationship, my gf (now my wife) realized this was part of our larger goal.

For us, scheduling was key. Most of my life for those four years was scheduled, right down to time with my gf. Doing that helped me make sure we kept our relationship alive. It also helped me avoid being guilty about not always studying (because there is always more you could be doing).

My gf also developed her own life. She went did things without me, got some hobbies, and had to work on not being dependent on me to keep her happy and entertained. Overall, I think we did well with it.
This is good advice...scheduling time together, time to study. I'll make a note of this. I really want to support him. He's supported me the last two years, while I was in college, and now that I know what I want to do, he's supporting me in that too. He's been utterly patient to get into school, so I want to make sure he has as much support as he can get from me, so that he can do the best he can. Scheduling will help take some of the pressure off of him in regards to spending time together, and me having a job will keep me busy and entertained too.
 

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Scheduling will help take some of the pressure off of him in regards to spending time together, and me having a job will keep me busy and entertained too.
I found it helped both of us. Me by keeping me on track on all areas. Her by know that there was going to be time for her (as opposed to a "I will get to you when this is done"). Sometimes, we had time together, she went to sleep, and I was back to studying late. Again, not easy but doable.
 

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What does he want his future career to be? What is he looking to major in?

I'd just make sure he picks a major that is flexible, just in case he is half way through all of his courses and then realizes that this path is not for him. Many people who think they want to be doctors or other medical professionals drop out part way through because the classes are so intense. I was one of those statistics. I was pre-med for a while until organic chemistry kicked my butt(I'm a fast learner, but that was too much) and I switched majors to something that had more options. I could still use my major to apply to medical school, but the new major I chose was a lot more hands on/real life experience than what I was previously doing as a Biology major which was very limited. I still get my degree in a health science, but it has more options and is more flexible.

It's tough to do school, work, and keep your relationship alive. My husband and I have argued quite a bit from the stress of it all, but it's all doable. You just have to prioritize your life and plan it well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He's thinking about pursuing a Bachelors in radiology. It would make him a radiological assistant, with other certificates and degrees he could pursue if he decided he wants to advance up the chain.
 

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I'm curious as a cat...with your study to be a trainer is that full-time study? Are you able to work while studying? Depending on your goals as a trainer, could you look for work at a health club and as a way to also get your foot in the door and get a glimpse at the industry while bringing in some extra income for you both now?
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm curious as a cat...with your study to be a trainer is that full-time study? Are you able to work while studying? Depending on your goals as a trainer, could you look for work at a health club and as a way to also get your foot in the door and get a glimpse at the industry while bringing in some extra income for you both now?
Once I get the cirriculum, I'll be spending as much time as I can on it. It's entirely online, a distance course, that I can do as quickly as I want, so long as I finish the course within 8 months of receiving it. I don't think the gym nearest to us has any positions open that aren't instructor/trainer positions, and I don't have a car right now, so no, I don't think I could work there while also doing my studies.

My studies are only going to be a few months long. I'll likely have my certification before he's even ready to start school, so me getting a job right now isn't necessary.
 

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He's thinking about pursuing a Bachelors in radiology. It would make him a radiological assistant, with other certificates and degrees he could pursue if he decided he wants to advance up the chain.
First, this is a phenomenal field. My cousin is a radiologist and the potential is enormous plus it is rewarding.

I agree it will be hard to juggle, but it is definitely worth it and you guys are young and healthy

I'd probably adjust the lifestyle to its minimum (you guys sound like you are right about there) and scale work to cover that plus some padding. If that means FT then FT it is.

For school I'd start part time to test my limits and lean heavily on the online side at first. Once I had a good feel for my bandwidth id scale up.

For radiology, IMO, there are classes that you are going to have to be onsite for or at least will want to be. Those will come later so best to utilize remote learning early while you can.

Good luck! You guys seem like a terrific young couple and I think you'll be fine (man I'm getting old... Lol!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
First, this is a phenomenal field. My cousin is a radiologist and the potential is enormous plus it is rewarding.
This is one of the main reasons she's so attracted to this field. He's always know that he wants to do something in the medical/health industry. It started with being a chiropractor, but there are, literally, tons of them where we live and he heard that it can often take years to build up a solid clientel. And once you've completed school, there's really not much else you can "move up" to. For a fleeting moment he thought he'd like to be an actual doctor/surgeon, but he soon saw how utterly competitive that field was and pushed that away. For a short while he wanted to be an anisthesiologist, but it was over six years of school and the job wasn't listed as an "in demand" job. So, that's when he looked at radiology. A bachelors degree is great for such a well paying job.

I agree it will be hard to juggle, but it is definitely worth it and you guys are young and healthy

I'd probably adjust the lifestyle to its minimum (you guys sound like you are right about there) and scale work to cover that plus some padding. If that means FT then FT it is.
I'm really hoping to get a job at the gym where we workout. We've already dropped down to one car, and we live so close, I could bike to work. So, if all things work out, and I'm working full time or close to it, and he's working at least part time, we should be fine.

For school I'd start part time to test my limits and lean heavily on the online side at first. Once I had a good feel for my bandwidth id scale up.
He has prerequisites to get done first, like math, biology, chemistry, etc. So this will be pretty easy for him to do. He'll get to try out his schedule before hitting the major classes.

For radiology, IMO, there are classes that you are going to have to be onsite for or at least will want to be. Those will come later so best to utilize remote learning early while you can.

Good luck! You guys seem like a terrific young couple and I think you'll be fine (man I'm getting old... Lol!)
Thank you. :) I wish we'd taken care of this before marriage. But we were so naive, thinking that love was enough. And now we're having to work around schedules and things, and it's definitely stressful. But worth it.
 
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