Workin' 9 to 5...and taking a courseload of all core classes?

We are well into the semester, almost at Spring Break even, and classes are in full swing.  So far, my second semester has been quite different from the first in that this time around I’ve had to balance the demands of a new full-time pre-professional library job in addition to my GSLIS course-load.  I am absolutely excited about the opportunity to gain some valuable experience while I’m in pursuing my degree, but this also means that I’ve had to really take a step back and re-think my approach to school.

I initially signed up for two courses for the Spring semester, just to keep the momentum going from the Fall.  A few days into my job, though, I had to face that maybe taking two courses while I was still learning the ropes might be a bit more challenging than I thought.  Especially since those two courses happen to be two core classes that I was told could be quite a mental workout to take together: 407 (Reference) and 415 (Information Organization).  When I registered, I was fully aware of what I was potentially getting myself into, but I was also genuinely excited about taking the two together.  They just felt so perfectly complementary and like the right way to fully jump in after a semester of re-adjusting to being a student.

After attending the first session for each class, I realized that doing things “right” had changed now that my employment status had changed.  I was hesitant at first because I worried that dropping down to just one class would slow me down way more than  I wanted.  But in reality, I'm know I'm making sure that I get the most out of both my classes and my hands-on experience.  I also haven't completely dropped the idea of picking up my courseload; I just want to make sure I can balance it all.

So my final advice?  If you’re thinking about keeping a full-time job when you start school, I highly recommend taking one course your first semester back as a student.  This will give you time to really figure out what your strengths are as a student and what you find challenging about balancing school with “the real world.”  You also have to complete the TOR your first semester at GSLIS so it's really more like taking a class and a half (especially if you're like me and sometimes a littel intimidated by wikis and technology).  If you're feeling confident about your skills and have the support you need from family and friends, go ahead and up the ante your second semester.

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