After graduating with my associate’s degree in Liberal Arts at the Community College of Philadelphia, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted from my university education. I was positive that I wanted to be a Creative Writing major. I had trouble keeping up with 3+ classes at once, so part-time schedules were a must-have. I was never big on dorm life or sharing small living quarters with strangers—the only benefit I can think of is that I would get more work done sooner.
Fed up with long commutes and wanting a break from urban city locales, I wanted a campus that was about an hour or less away from my house by public transit. Arcadia University proved to be a good fit for me.
While I won’t finish as soon as most full-timers, I’ve been more successful managing the demands of my classes as a part-time student. If you can manage the load without feeling stressed, by all means, go for it. I do know it’s not for me. Taking two classes at once gives me more time to delve deeper into the topics presented to me in each. I feel that I engage better with assignments, and my overall quality of work is better for it.
The spare time has also given me more chances to partake in campus events and organizations outside of the classroom. Not only are they welcome breaks in between assignments, but they’ve enriched my education and career trajectory. Aside from the free refreshments and potential prizes, speakers at events broaden your awareness with ideas that can improve the lives of listeners. Being an active member of organizations like Quiddity and Because Arcadia has greatly developed my reading, writing, and evaluation skills. These skills are absorbed into my school work and impress employers.
Speaking of employment, being a part-time student leaves more room for working a job or two. There’s more flexibility when choosing classes for each term. Fortunately, internships and a growing number of employers are giving more respect to your class schedule. Until I graduate, I’d much rather work part-time for school with a job than to be full-time for one or both. I am able to work toward my degree and gain experience and money without a chaotic workload.
Perhaps the best thing about being a part-timer is that I have more downtime for myself. Don’t get me wrong: During the semester, completing coursework is my priority, and things like video games and working out tend to go on the back burner. Despite this, I still have time to go out or keep up with a few weekly shows. Because I’m not swamped with assignments, I get more time to enjoy pre-graduate life while steadily working toward my career goals.