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Going back to school

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I was in college about four years ago for nursing, and in my third semester (part time) I switched to a surgical tech program. Well, with working full time, going to school part time, raising two kids (then 9 and 7), undiagnosed bipolar disorder, and everything else that goes along with having a marriage and a life, I couldn't hack it and dropped out.

So last week I signed back up for school and I'm freaking out that I'm going to freak out. I'm on Topamax now and doing pretty well on the mental front, so that's good, right?? I'm signed up for 6 credits for the summer semester and 11 credits for the fall semester. My plan is to work full time also until the end of December and then depending on how my classes fall for the spring semester I may have to quit my job to concentrate on school.

I'm completely scared that it's going to be too much again with the full time job plus college. Is there one single person out there that has been able to do it? Someone? Anyone??

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i'm not a mother or wife, but while i was in traditional undergrad college i worked 20+ hrs a week and carried 20 credit hours, taking lithium and paxil. i graduated in the top 10% of my class.

in 2005 i took 10 credit hours in one semester while working full time. i didn't have trouble with it. i could have taken double the course load. my school wasn't known for being easy or anything, so my classes weren't blow-offs.

but i think being a wife and mother would make it a lot harder.

i know you can do it though!!!

best of luck,

loon ;)

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I'm guessing the key is probably in effectively monitoring yourself, and having plans in place as to what to do as soon as things start to get on top of you. I've got to say, I'm doing a full-time degree and although I worked part-time for the first two years, there's no way I could have done more than that! Now, for the last year of the degree, I've been living with my dad and not working at all - I figured I couldn't handle that amount of stress.

I'm guessing that since your kids are older now they're much more independent, so that should reduce the strain from last time. Also, you now know about the bipolar and so can manage it better. Overall, you're in a stronger position - so go for it, and good luck!


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I agree with Angelwhore about monitoring yourself carefully. Keep talking to your pdoc (and your tdoc if you have one), and consider speaking to someone at the university. Things work differently in my country, but from what I've read over my years on CB, the American (I'm assuming you ARE in the States) system can make allowances such as extra time for exams, and so on.

I completed my Masters degree while working fulltime, and honestly, it WAS tough. However, I was mostly manic and not properly medicated at the time - which I think actually may have been the reason why I coped with an 8 hour working day, then 3 hours of lectures 2 evenings a week and meetings with my supervisor somewhere in the middle. (Not that I'm recommending that you ditch your meds just to see what happens!!)

Don't be afraid to grab whatever help you can, and do speak to your university's disability office or counselling service for additional assistance.

best wishes to you,


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