Full-Time Worker Part-Time Student



David Elmer wakes up at 6 a.m. every day. He scurries to work and grinds until 5 p.m. When he gets off work, he grabs a quick bite then heads straight to class until 10 p.m. After class, he studies until he is finally able to sleep, just to wake up and do the same thing again.


Elmer, 21, is a George Mason University student balancing a full-time job as a banker while working on a degree in finance for the past two years. He attempts to pay tuition, rent, and other bills of a college student. Elmer says he maintains good grades even though he works full time. He scrutinizes his schedule to better manage his time.


“It took me a while to get the hang of this busy life in the beginning, but I like it this way now. I’m the type of person to procrastinate on homework and studying if I have too much time on my hands, and it turns out my grades are better when I’m busy.”


A study by Boston University reveals students who worked more than 20 hours a week have a higher grade-point average than students who work less than 20 hours a week. Students who don’t work have the lowest GPAs.


Elmer’s advice for other students struggling with work and academics is, “It’s important to maintain a physically written list of things to do.” He has a miniature notepad that he jots down whatever bills due and assignments to work on, among other responsibilities.


Elmer plans to graduate in the Spring of 2018 with his bachelor’s degree in finance. He says, “When I can finally finish school, I’ll free up a lot of space on my schedule for work and other things. But I don’t know if this is good or bad. I’m so productive with my busy schedule, so I’ll have to find ways to stay busy and be productive without school in the mix.”