Thursday, 20 March 2014

Juggling an Undergraduate Degree Workload and a Part-time Job

3 weeks ago, I embarked on a journey into university, embracing the new beginning.

As I have been teaching music (piano and music theory) to children and young adults on weekends since last year, I continued the PT job this year as well.  Out of the blue, at the beginning of this year, I wanted to take on another teaching role at a music centre near my house, mainly to have an opportunity to teach group classes (not offered at my current academy), and partly to earn more.

Due to my interest in Psychology and to some degree our development as human beings, I was glad and indeed thank God when I received 2 new students who are slightly more active than their peers.  I love to challenge myself in ways where I can help those in need, in whatever way I can. Teaching gives me satisfaction in its unimaginable ways. It makes me feel useful to be able to impart knowledge to my fellow children.

Perhaps I did not realize the amount of effort and initiative we as Undergrad students need to put in for each subject that we have in the semester, I joined many clubs such as Yoga, Toastmasters, CF, Psychology network and Radio Monash.  I thought it wasn't a lot, until my acquaintance told me she is only going to join 1 club.

Just yesterday, I got a call from my new music school that I intend to work in, saying that there are available group classes ready for me to take over. I panicked as I did not know whether to say 'yes' or 'no'. Hence I told the admin I am going to call him back.


I prayed during CF, hoping God will answer my prayer and put an answer to my heart and guide me on how to respond. I also decided to really sit down and write down the current workload I have for assignments, lectures and tutorials, the extra-curricular activities, my Teaching hours and finally the free time I have in my hands. I assume I have 14 active hours per day, from 9am - 11pm.

Recalling how I did last year in college while juggling with my teaching on weekends, I notice I wasn't able to fully have some time to rest, do the things I like and so on. My time management side for study and doing assignments was also not effective. Though I manage to submit all my assignments on time, it was always rushing and burning the midnight oil. I also got more stressed with the work because my whole Sunday every week is set aside for teaching.

I was surprised I even pull through the whole year doing a PT job. I got an average ATAR, closing most prestigious universities' doors overseas, but opened doors for Monash University in Malaysia, my home country.

What now?

Now, as I am in a dilemma as to whether or not to take up the group classes, I am torn between my interest to teach Group classes (especially) rather than individual classes, and my degree, my academics. 

I decided to think about my priorities. What is important to me? Does not taking up the group classes make your life miserable? Is it worth my time and effort to travel to and fro for just my interest in trying out to teach group music class? Would I benefit better if I spend more time socializing with batch mates, study, join clubs and societies? Why the rush to earn money when you don't actually
need them to further your study? FAMA (father, mother) scholarship provides them all! I do not need to worry at all.

Taking up the Job - Pros and Cons

1) Satisfy my dream / desire to teach children in groups
2) Increase self worth, self esteem, self value
3) Earn more money
4) Being able to watch students grow

1) Transport, fuel, time
2) Parking 
3) Risk the possibilities of unable to complete assignments / always doing it last minute
4) Lose direction or focus along the months / years (Is my main aim to study and graduate with a degree or teaching kids which is an unnecessary thing?) 

Time waits for no man (including women). Is the additional PT job really needed now when you will have 30-40 years ahead down the working life? Why not enjoy uni life?

Will post here when I finally made a decision. 

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