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Should I take this co-op oppurtunity?

  1. Jan 11, 2014 #1
    Hey guys, I am a student in high school in the 11th grade. I registered for co-op next semester, and I got this reverse-engineering position, where i would look at things like patent infringement, using techniques like reverse engineering. The thing is, I have extremely hard courses as well next semester. I have computer engineering(roughly two projects a week along with tons of independent learning and homework), math(My hs has perhaps the top 10 most difficult math programs in Ontario, and I will have to dedicate 2-3 hours a day to get enough practice), and computer science, which takes roughly two hours of coding a day after the first month of class. If I take co-op, then I will be there from 2 till six. This means I will be going to school, then co-op, and then studying for the rest of the day until I sleep, and then repeat. I will simply have no time to do anything else and my grades will suffer. is this co-op position too valuable to give up, or should I focus on my school and ditch this oppurtunity?
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2014 #2


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    My advice would be to challenge yourself.

    You can always drop it if things get too hectic for you.
  4. Jan 12, 2014 #3
    That was why I took on this whole oppurtunity, but with it I will literally not be able to do anything but study. Would it still be worth it at the age that I am at(16)?
  5. Jan 12, 2014 #4
    Dropping a course is one thing, but dropping a co-op doesn't definitely won't look very good (if you're even allowed to drop it). Who's going to want to hire you as a co-op student in the future if they're worried you're going to drop out because you have a tendency to take on more than you can handle?

    If you think your performance in school is going to suffer because of the co-op, I wouldn't bother with it. You're still in high school, and you'll have lots of opportunities to get work experience in the future. (Look at summer co-ops, for example) Knowing your limits is a strength, not a weakness.
  6. Jan 12, 2014 #5


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    Greenlaser makes a good point, but there are a few questions that might help you to figure this out.

    1. Based on what are you determining the workload of the coming semester? Are you trying to make a decision based on data or anecdotes perpetuated by students bragging about how tough their workload was?

    2. How do you personally perform under the stress of a heavy workload? Some people actually do better when challenged, because when they have free time they tend to do non-constructive things.

    3. How important is your free time to you and how much do you need to be happy?

    On these forums it's not uncommon to get students asking questions about whether they should take on a particular workload. From my point of view, it seems rare that someone is actually posting about something that appears objectively impossible (in fact, often it seems like they're asking about a less-than-standard workload). But of course there is a strong subjective component to addressing such concerns - an element that can't really be assessed based on the limited information available in a post.

    In your case - based on what you've written it sounds like you're in for a busy semester. You have an opportunity for what sounds like an awesome co-op placement. But yes, quite likely if you take it on you will feel like you have very little time to yourself.

    The thing is, if you don't *know* that it's going to make your grades suffer, or that you're not going to be able to bear it, the only way you can find out is by trying. This is a great time in your life to figure this out. Dropping a high school co-op when you're 16 is likely to be far less consequential in the long term than a university co-op.
  7. Jan 12, 2014 #6
    Choppy, thank you for the questions, I think they directed me in the right path. I will talk to my co-op guy to drop it. Coming back from 3 consecutive concussions, my sleep is required to be at least 8 hours for me to function normally, and I like having time to myself because I use it to learn more advanced topics (I learned calc 1-3 and diff. eqs in gr 9 at home). I also crumble under stress intellectualy speaking due to my concussions. the workload is estimated from info from the teachers, and from the notoriety of the earl of march mathematics program. Google it, there's been articles written on it, and almost yearly complaints. Grades, not co-op will land me in uni, so I will give it up for this term(I can always do it next year and in uni), as great of an oppurtunity as it is.
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