I found out that I could be a part-time or a full-time student. It would be a great opportunity for someone like me who is working full time.

I am writing a personal statement. I found out that I could be either full time or part time in the past but I am still working full time now.

Someone told me I should use is because I am still working full time now. But isn't it breaking the parallel pattern, the former part is past and the latter is present tense.

  • You have two different sentences. The first sentence uses the past tense and the second uses the present. There is no problem. (Even if it were the same sentence, it is sometimes fine—depending on the specific construction.) – Jason Bassford Jan 6 at 17:53
  • If you found out that you could be either full-time or part-time in the past, then you could have been part-time or full-time - not could be which implies the present possibility. But there's no problem using appropriate (different) tenses, even within the same sentence. – Ronald Sole Jan 6 at 18:39

Parallelism only matters when you are listing or comparing similar things. If you are talking about two different events at two different times, there is no need to conjugate them the same way. For example:

When I was single, I felt free, and I stayed out late, and I dated many women ... but now that I am married, I don't miss that life at all.

In this sentence there are two parts, each with a separate parallel structure -- the past (when I was single), and the present (when I am married). There's no reason for these to match each other, because they represent two separate time periods.

In the same way, it would make no sense for you to use "was" in your example, because you are talking about the present moment (when you are working full time), and which is otherwise unrelated to the time when you found out about your enrollment options.

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