The Non-Traditional Student: Five Tips on Finally Earning that Degree

by Editor on December 24, 2013

The Non-Traditional StudentGoing back to school has become a necessity for some adults. The problems start when students realize how hard it is to study after being out of school for a long period of time. Balancing everything becomes a juggling act that can sometimes be hard to maintain until graduation. Learning how to manage time, family, work, school, and a social life is very hard but not impossible.

1-Time management

Time management is a skill that cannot be stressed enough; choose a school schedule that fits best. Night school, weekend classes, part-time, and online classes offer many flexible ways to earn a degree. You can find more information here about programs that are available online.

Set up a specific place for school that is quiet and free from distractions. Block out a set amount of time each day to work on school. It helps to complete class work at the same time each day, if possible. Students should plan ahead for overtime at work, family functions, vacations, and appointments that may interfere with scheduled school time. Using a coordinated schedule to schedule available time for every activity including school is helpful for keeping track of everything.

2-Be prepared to read

Going back to school requires spending a lot of time reading materials for classes and researching for papers. Some colleges expect team participation that requires extra class time and studying. Going to college is a lot of heavy reading and excessive research. Editing and proofreading can also take up a considerable amount of time. Be sure to include time for each activity in the time management schedule. This doesn’t have to be hard, you can incorporate reading into your lunch break or read your text books while your children practice reading their favorites.

3-Allow extra time for team assignments

Team assignments can take up as much as 10-20 extra hours of work per week. Scheduling time to work on team assignments and to participate is an important part of attendance in some colleges. Planning time at the beginning of the class or beginning of the week is the best solution. Learn what works best for you and your group. Maybe you can allocate a certain part of the assignment to each team member and then just meet once weekly to edit and collaborate.

4-Saying no

When attending college, there are some things that often have to be avoided. Saying no to family and friends is not pleasant, but usually necessary. In the end, the missed time will be well worth the reward. This also means you might have to avoid taking on extra responsibility at the office or at any volunteer organizations your are associated with until you finish your school.

5-Learning to relax

Taking time to get away from all the stress, the books, and the schedule is important for mental survival during college. Plan time each week for a well earned relaxation session; it makes all the difference in the world. When you are overwhelmed with school and work, your family may feel like they have been put on the back burner. Allocate a set amount of family time to go to the park or go out to eat together so that they know you are still thinking of them.

College is hard work. It’s even harder for those who already have families or full-time jobs. If you have always thought that going back to school was out of reach, there are options. Look into different night programs or online classes and you could find the perfect program that will help you advance your career and meet your goals.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: