More and more non-traditional students are heading back to college after they have been working for years. Not only are they older than most of the students heading straight to college after high school, they also have to support themselves and, at times, a family. Many people learn to balance college with a full-time job. It is hard but doable.
Here are some tips to go back to college while working a full-time job.
- Make sure that you have support. You are not going to be able to do it without support and help from family and friends. If your family is not on board with college, you are going to struggle with it every day!
- Don’t isolate yourself from other students. Though you may want to use all of your available time to study, it is just as important to meet new people and interact with them. It will help to make your college experience much more pleasant when you have friends in class with you.
- Plan out your days. It is important to have your days and nights planned out. You need to know when you are going to be working, when you are going to be in school, and when you plan on doing homework. You may also find it helpful to set aside time for your family and housework.
- Don’t forget to relax. You need time to relax and unwind. This time can also help to recharge your batteries so you can go back to work and school work better focused and ready to work.
- Focus on really learning. Many people try to hurry through their classes and assignments to get their degree. However, you are taking classes to learn and become better so make sure that you are holding onto the knowledge.
- Embrace the change. Going back to college is a life-changing experience and you need to embrace it. Take time to adjust and then find your new routine.
- Choose your college and degree carefully. Though it can be nice to get another degree to hang more credentials on the wall (or even to get a raise), make sure that you are going back to school for the right reason.
- Take as many online classes as you can. Online classes can help because you can work on them whenever and wherever you have time (such as lunch breaks, before your family wakes up, and after everyone is in bed). They provide a lot of flexibility which may make it easier to fit classes into your busy schedule.
- Have a space set up just to study. A designated study area can really be helpful. You can keep your projects out, as well as your books if you have to walk away quickly. It can get you into the studying frame of mind, as well as tell others to leave you alone while you are studying.
- Remember why you are doing this. It can be really hard to remember why you are going to college, especially on days when you are very overwhelmed. On these days, especially, it can help to remember that one day you are going to graduate and do better for yourself (and your family).
Going back to college can be quite an experience and a life-changer. You need to remember to embrace the change, study hard at your own desk, and really focus on learning. It may also help to take online classes which can be more flexible if your job is not! However, if you are taking classes with others, reach out and meet some of them. It makes your experience less lonely and more rewarding. You should never forget why you are doing this. Your degree and diploma will make it all worth it in the end.
Contact us to make sure that you pick the right college to further your education.