mature student- full time job

posted
25-Dec-09, 20:20
edited about 2 seconds later
Avatar for bluebell
posted about 10 years ago
I am about to start my PhD , I am a very mature student and also work full time , just wondered if anyone else is in a similar situation and has any tips for success
Bluebell
posted
25-Dec-09, 20:36
edited about 10 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Bluebell,

I am completing my Master's thesis over the next 6 months, while working full-time, in order to do exactly what you are doing- a Phd while working full-time. So I too would be really interested to hear from others who have done or are on the same pathway. I am also a mature student (46 years) and have had to wait years to do this-something I have wanted to do for a long time.

What scares me is the length of time it might take- I can envision another three to four years of the work-study combination but if it goes into 6 or 7 (and realistically given the scope of a Phd project or study-it might!), I just wonder whether I am crazy. Afterall, I am no longer doing this to become an academic-teach full-time at a Uni. I am currently in Education and have a fairly responsible position as a curriculum coordinator. I would study in an area fairly connected to my current work.

Part of me thinks I am mad and yet, the thing is...about a couple of months ago...going through all of the 'pros and cons' of the whole thing and thinking that my colleagues in my workplace would be supportive but probably privately think I'm nuts....a little voice in my head said 'so what? You are doing this for you...not to impress any academics or colleagues...it is to extend your own understanding and perhaps to make a really good contribution to your own area...it doesn't have to be the best thing out...just something really good. And who cares if it takes 7 years and you are that much older...if you want consultative work or part-time circuit work and mentoring later-it would be really useful'. So this voice seemed pretty reasonable to me.

But I do wonder about time and whether I will manage both and still have some life.

Love to hear from others on the journey as well and good luck and good for you Bluebell.
posted
25-Dec-09, 20:40
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 10 years ago
Also Merry Christmas, it is actually Boxing Day here in Australia and I am the only one up in the household right at the minute-my system seemed to have burned through the food and alcohol around 2 to three hours ago. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas-I know I did.
posted
26-Dec-09, 19:14
edited about 27 seconds later
by emmaki
Avatar for emmaki
posted about 10 years ago
Hi!
I am in my second year of a part-time PhD and I am working full-time in special education. On top of these, my first language is not English and I am not based in the UK....
When I started I made a plan. Now I am 7 months ahead of my plan... I think that I will work as hard as I can in order to finish my research and then I will relax (kind of) while analysing my data and writing up (I believe I will have a little bit over two years for these).
It is quite hard sometimes and it gets even harder at other times, generally it needs discipline. But if you really want it you can do it. You just have to have everything programmed and stick to your working schedule.
Good luck!!!!!!
posted
26-Dec-09, 21:57
edited about 26 seconds later
by Sue2604
Avatar for Sue2604
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Bluebell

I started my PhD years ago while I was working full-time in a demanding job, and found it really difficult. I'd get up and study before work, then in the evenings after work, but it was just so hard to get decent chunks of time to really get into it. If possible, schedule in some 3 day week-ends, so you can get a decent amount of time to study - the amount of work that can be done in a few days is far, far greater than the same amount of time spread over weeks. And will you need to take time off to do any field work? Also keep in mind that you'll probably need to take a few months off at the end to finish the writing up, and really get into it and finish the thesis.

Working full-time and doing a PhD is possible, but you do need to be really determined and willing to give up a lot - I basically did nothing else apart from work and study, altho I also made sure I fitted in exercise and time with my partner. I don't mean to sound negative, but it's best to be prepared. I found that I gradually decreased my working hours - to 4 days a week, then 3, then I changed to being a full-time student and took leave - the PhD really does take over your life. It's been mostly enjoyable, but a long and taxing journey. Good luck!
posted
27-Dec-09, 20:22
Avatar for bluebell
posted about 10 years ago
thank you for all your very supportive comments and practical tips, I am very determined to do it but at the same time find it daunting, so it is great top hear from other people in similar situations
Thanks again
Bluebell







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