Balancing College with a Full Time Job

There comes a point in everybody’s career when they hit a wall. After years of progression, everything starts to stagnate and it seems as though you’re going nowhere. You can ask your employer if there are any more opportunities for you to move forward, but if there aren’t, you might have to think about moving jobs. If you’re always being overlooked for promotions and new opportunities it could be because you are losing out to people that are better qualified than you. With more and more people attending college and getting degrees the workplace is getting more competitive every single day.


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If you want to get ahead, you might have to get a college degree of your own, or get more qualifications on top of your existing degree if you have one. Going back to school in later life is a brilliant option for some people, especially if they didn’t go to college when they were younger. You can experience all of the things that you missed out on the first time around, but it’s a lot harder to manage than it would have been back then. You’ll likely have a lot more responsibilities to consider and maybe even a family. Money concerns are also a big factor because going from having a full time wage to not working, while you’re trying to pay for college at the same time can put a huge financial strain on you. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea altogether, you can always get a college degree and continue to work at the same time. Be warned, it’s going to be difficult but if you’re serious about it then it is manageable. Here are some great tips on managing your time well when you’re trying to balance work and college.


Online Degrees


Online degrees have grown in popularity over the last few years because they offer a much more flexible option for people that want to carry on working while they study. When they first came about, they didn’t carry the same weight as a traditional college degree, but these days plenty of respected institutions offer online programs that have the same resources that they offer to their other students. The range of online degrees available is huge, including an online RN to BSN Degree, business degrees, psychology degrees, law degrees, teaching degrees and so much more. The benefit of an online degree is that you can choose exactly when and how you do all of your studying. You don’t need to try to fit your work around a rigid schedule of classes so your studying won’t inconvenience your employer. You’ll still have to meet deadlines of course, but apart from that, you’re free to write your own schedule.


Make A Plan


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It might seem like a bit of a waste of time to spend ages planning out your whole year when you should be getting down to work, but it’ll be for the best in the long run. As soon as you are given your dates for assignments, put them on a calendar and start planning goals for the end of each week. That way you can make sure that you’re always on track and you don’t find yourself rushing to finish things the week before they’re due to be handed in. Knowing exactly how much work you need to do each week makes it far easier to plan your studying around your work life. If you don’t plan fully before you start, you might think that you’re doing enough each day, only to find that you’re only halfway through when it comes time to submit your work. Once you’ve got a solid idea of exactly how many hours you need to put in, you can schedule the right amount of study time each day.


Set Up A Study Area


When you’re trying to balance a job and a family with your studies it can be easy to try to do your studying while you’re doing other things. If you’re sitting in the kitchen or the living room trying to study while everybody else is going about their day around you, you’ll get distracted. You won’t take things in properly and you’ll be working at half speed. Even though you’re working on your own schedule, you should still treat it like a rigid college class schedule. Set up an office area in a separate room away from the rest of the family where you can work in peace. You don’t always have to study at home either if things are a bit too hectic. Ask your boss if you can come in a bit early or stay a little later. Being at work when nobody else is around is a great way to get the peace and quiet you need to get some studying done.


Pick The Right Time


Everybody studies in their own way. Some people like to get up at the crack of dawn and get it out of the way while other people will work long into the night. If you’re trying to force yourself to work at times when you think you should be, it might be counterproductive if that just isn’t the way you work best. Working in lots of small chunks throughout the day might be better for you than doing one long session in the evening. Whatever you do, just find the thing that works best for you and stick to it, even if it isn’t conventional.


Take Some Time Off


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Working full time and getting a college degree doesn’t leave much room for downtime, but you need some. People often make the mistake of thinking that if they study for every single second of the day when they aren’t at work, they’ll get better results. That just isn’t true. When you’re burned out, you won’t retain any of that knowledge that you’re taking in. It’ll all be wasted time and you’ll find that you get to the end of your course knowing a lot less than you thought you did. Taking regular breaks is important if you want to keep up that momentum all the way through, otherwise, you’ll push yourself to the breaking point and then find that you can’t do any valuable studying at all.

Deciding to carry on working full time while you’re getting your degree is a bold move, but if you do it right, the payoff will be worth it.

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