Are you trying to figure out how to obtain a college degree while working full-time? Many busy adults who try to work and attend college at the same time face this dilemma. Some are taking their first shot at a four-year diploma while others are returning to academia to complete the remaining years of a college career that they left unfinished years ago. Regardless of what your particular situation is, the challenge of holding a job and attending school can seem impossible at first. But the good news is that it’s actually a realistic goal if you plan carefully. Here are some of the key things to keep in mind as you make a plan to get a degree without leaving your current job.
Make a Detailed Schedule
For so many working students, the solution to the puzzle is a day-by-day plan. Whether you choose to attend in-person or online class sessions, you’ll need to map out every hour of every day, remembering to allow for adjustments as needed. Coursework and homework will typically take up those extra chunks of time at the end of each weekday and during weekends. Most online curricula consist of at-your-own-pace learning, which gives you flexibility to attend classes and lectures when time allows, and to complete homework during remaining blocks of downtime.
Cover Education Costs While Studying
One of the factors that stumps some college-bound adults is expense. What’s the most effective way to get all those education-related costs covered while knee deep in coursework? The answer for so many is a student loan through a private lender. That’s because private funding sources give you the ability to pay for higher education in one move. Then, once all the bills are paid, pupils can focus on what’s most important, their classes. After all, the whole point of going or returning to college is obtaining a diploma and becoming more attractive to hiring managers.
Speak With a Faculty Advisor
Your best resource for information about how to create a realistic schedule is a faculty advisor. Professionals who are also full-time or part-time degree candidates can get helpful advice from advisors who have dealt with hundreds of other people in the same situation as yours. Ask about the suggested amounts of time to spend on each course, how many hours to study for semester exams, what’s the best order in which to take a series of required classes within your major, and how long other working students take to complete all degree requirements.
Include Free Time in the Schedule
Be careful not to fall into all work and no play trap. Even if you discover that there are only a few open hours per week, make it a point to plan fun activities for yourself, or find easy ways to schedule self-care into pockets of free time. Try to create a mix of outings, like movies and sporting events, and rest periods, like weekend afternoons at a swimming pool or taking a well-deserved nap. Additionally, include regular exercise to keep yourself in decent physical health. Consider short walks, swimming, and sports you enjoy.