There are several reasons attached with many people who chose to work full time as well as study full time. In general for younger students, working part-time may provide a source of additional income and therefore a certain level of independence from their parents. Additionally they also get work experience which may add on to their future employment opportunities. On the other hand for people already in the workforce higher responsibilities, study and additional degree can be a way of acquiring new skills or upgrading them in order to remain competitive in the labor market.
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Participation in either study or work can be a full-time commitment in its own right. The combination of full-time work with full-time study immense pressure on an individual to keep a balance between the two activities and also the problem to meet family commitments, participate in leisure and other activities (Australian Bureau of Statistics n.pag, 2002).
When an individual is working full-time and also studying, the pressure is hard to handle as a result they experience stress. Though in small doses, stress can be a good thing, as it can give the individual the push they need, motivating them to do their best and to stay focused and alert. Stress is what keeps one on the toes during a presentation at work or drives them to study for their exam when they would rather be watching television or playing games. But when the going gets too tough and life’s demands exceed their ability to cope, stress becomes a threat to both their physical and emotional well-being. And this often happens when an individual is doing studying as well as working full time.
Stress is a psychological and physiological response to events that upset the personal balance in some way. When faced with a threat, whether to the physical safety or emotional equilibrium, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” response. In general, it is a fact that the impact of this stress can be felt such as heart pounding, muscles tensing up, tiredness breathlessness, every sense on red alert.
The following are some of the major health problems that are faced by people who work full time and study full time due to stress. Initially the body “fight-or-flight” stress response engages a range of biological changes that prepare us for emergency action. Under the stress conditions, a small part of the brain called the hypothalamus sets off a chemical alarm. As a result of this the sympathetic nervous system counters by releasing a huge amount of stress hormones, including adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol. These stress hormones rush through the bloodstream, readying the individual to either flee the scene or battle it out. This kind of stress continuously faced by a person has several harmful impacts on the health (Joelle n.pag. 2007).
In the modern world, most of the stress a person feel is in response to psychological rather than physical threats. What ever is the cause of stress, the human body stressed over a looming deadline, an argument with a friend, or a mountain of bills, the warning bells ring, or even studying and working full time. If the same person has a lot of responsibilities and worries, he may be running on stress a good portion of the time. But the problem with the stress response is that the more it’s activated, the harder it is to shut off. Instead of leveling off once the crisis has passed, the stress hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure remain elevated. Additionally, extended or repeated activation of the stress response takes a heavy toll on the body.
Prolonged exposure to stress increases the risk of everything from heart disease, obesity, and infection to anxiety, depression, and memory problems. The precise signs and symptoms of stress vary widely from one person to another. Some people primarily experience physical symptoms, such as low back pain, stomach problems, and skin outbreaks. In others, the stress pattern centers on emotional symptoms, such as hypersensitivity. For yet another group of people changes may show up in the way they think or behave.
In the personal life, the people who experience stress due to full time studying and working major life events are stressors. When the person is not able to spend time with the family, the results can vary such as divorce, a child leaving home. Other situations such as a planned pregnancy, a move to a new town, a career change, graduating from college, or a diagnosis of health challenges can be an additional cause for stress. In general, the faster or more dramatic the change, the greater is the strain. Though it is not an every day issue of filing a divorce case, having a baby etc., there are every day battle with traffic, argue with family members, or worry about the finances on a daily basis. Because these small upsets occur so regularly, they end up affecting us the most.
Family and relationship stressors – Problems with friends, romantic partners, and family members are common daily stressors. Marital disagreements, dysfunctional relationships, rebellious teens, or caring for a chronically-ill family member or a child with special needs can all send stress levels shoots up.
The person working for an organization will need to stand by the deadlines, punctuality, efficiency and other job commitments. When the same person has to devote time for his studies he may not be able to devote enough time for it and also put in enough dedication to it. This will not only create unnecessary stress but also have an impact on the efficiency of his working. In the career-driven society, work can be an ever-present source of stress. Work stress is a resultant of things such as job dissatisfaction, an exhausting workload, insufficient pay, office politics, and conflicts with the boss or co-workers.
Another kind of stress the person may undergo is the social stress. A person working full time and also studying full time have tremendous amount of stress when the social life demands their participation. For instance, the family and friend circle demands a person participation in some functions or parties. When the person is not able to satisfy them they are isolated from these events and in many cases loose their friendship which may lead to social isolation.
In conclusion, it can be said that it may be difficult for a person to balance the full time study with full time work. Most of the time the person may experience tremendous amount of stress that can have serious health implications. Besides, it can also lead to strained relationships in the family and friends. Therefore, it is important to make the right decisions. Each and every individual have their own capacity to take in the amount of stress. They need to balance their personal, professional and academic life based on their capacity to take stress and handle it. Good decisions taken at the right time can prove to be beneficial for the individual.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 1301.0 – Year Book Australia, 2002.
Joelle Understanding Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects (2007).