If you currently have a full-time job, you might feel that means you simply can’t go back to college to obtain the degree you actually need to make your life better. It’s a problem that many people face; they want a new qualification so they can change careers or enhance the one they’re currently working in, but because they are working, they just don’t have the time (and sometimes the energy – full-time work can be tiring) to study. That means they remain where they are, which can cause them to feel as though they’re stuck in a rut and underachieving. This can lead to problems, the severest of which is depression.
It makes sense, then, to go back to school if that’s what will make a big – positive – difference in your life. However, as we’ve said, that can be difficult, if not impossible. What is the answer in that case? Read on to find out what to do if you work full-time, and you want to go back to college to obtain a degree that will boost your career and change your life for the better. It can be done as long as you plan things out and think carefully about what you can and can’t do.
Speak To Your Boss
The first thing you need to do when you want to go back to school while you’re working a full-time job is to speak to your employer. It’s crucial that you let them know what your plans are, as they might be able to work out a more flexible schedule for you, for example. This will be in their best interests if the degree you are working towards is something that will benefit their business (in some cases, they might even pay for you to do it, so this is another reason to speak to them before you commit to anything).
Once you know when your classes will be held, you can arrange to work around them. If you can find a college that offers evening classes, this will be easier, but you will need to take time off work if the classes are held in the daytime. Can you make this up with overtime elsewhere? Speak to your boss to see what can be done, as although it might seem impossible now, it could be that there is a simple way around the issue, allowing you to do everything you want to do.
Create A Plan
Once you have been accepted into a degree course and know when you’ll be attending classes, you should create a plan to know exactly what you need to do and by when. Start with your college course. What assignments are due, and what are the deadlines? You can then work back from there, so you know exactly when you need to start writing and researching. This will help you ensure you have enough time to do everything required of you.
This is not the only plan you should make. You should also consider creating a career plan. Unless you have a firm idea of what you actually intend to do once you graduate, it’s going to be difficult to know you’ve chosen the right course and that all your hard work is worth it. Although the idea of getting a degree is exciting, you must take your time when deciding what to do.
Choose An Online Course
Depending on the work you do, your location, and any other responsibilities you might have in your life, it could be that your initial assessment was right; you simply can’t go to a physical college at a set time every week (or even day, in some cases) to study for a new degree. You’ll need to choose what is more important; your education and future career or the career you have right now. This is a very tough choice to have to make, and the answers both have pros and cons attached.
There is another way that is becoming more and more popular. That way is studying for your degree online with a highly regarded school such as Rockhurst University Online. When you take your degree online, there are no physical classes to attend; everything is done via video or downloadable lessons. The biggest benefit of this is that you don’t have to sacrifice anything to do this study; you can study at any time that suits you as there are no set class times. This means you can keep your current job and study when you have free time. The trade-off is that this can mean that online courses take longer to obtain (although this will depend on your schedule – they might be a quicker option for some), but the fact is that you’ll have your degree at the end, so it will be worth it.
Use Your Free Time Well
When you’re studying and working at the same time, it can feel as though you have no free time and that every second is taken up with something important. However, if you have created a good schedule, as we mentioned above, you should be able to find a little time each day to relax. This is crucial. If you want to continue to be productive at work and if you want to get good grades in college, you’ll need to enjoy your downtime.
This could mean reading a book on your commute to work, or going for a walk during lunchtime. Perhaps you’ll go to bed ten minutes later or get up half an hour earlier and use that time for something you enjoy. It doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you have some time to yourself that you use well and that allows you to relax. In that way, your brain will be more receptive to new information, and you’ll be much more productive in general.
Take Care Of Yourself
It’s very easy to start to overdo it when you’re studying for a degree and working full-time. This is true even if you’re working part-time. The fact is that we can only do so much before all this additional work, no matter how important it is, starts to take its toll on our physical and mental health.
This is why it’s important you make sure you take care of yourself. You’ll need to know how to handle any stress you’re feeling to ensure you’re still able to do everything you need to do. Some ways to handle that stress include getting outside, taking deep breaths, exercising, and sleeping well. On top of that, you must make sure you are eating well. It’s always going to be tempting when you’re busy to get takeout or microwave a processed meal, but this is a bad idea. Ideally, you should batch cook food when you do have time to ensure you always have something quick and easy to prepare that also happens to be healthy.
Take Advantage Of Technology
There are many different ways to study, and everyone will have their preferred method. We’ve mentioned how online courses can be the ideal solution to every issue you might come up against when trying to work and study at the same time, but there are other types of technology that can help you work in the way you prefer.
Taking notes is always going to be part of any degree course, so this is something you’ll need to be aware of. Technology can help with this. Rather than writing everything down, why not use one or more of the many study apps available to download to a phone or tablet? You might find it’s far easier to actually concentrate on the lesson at hand if you’re not focusing so much on taking notes that make no sense later on.
This is just one example of how tech can help you with your degree course. Another way could be how you study when you’re away from class. There will always be some independent study and research required, especially if you need to write an essay for your course, and there are apps that will help you concentrate by playing white noise or bird song or anything else that helps you. Think about where you struggle and what would make life easier for you, and there is sure to be an app that will help you.
Find Your Comfort Zone
You will no doubt have heard about your comfort zone, and you might well have pushed yourself out of that comfort zone if you signed onto a degree course while you were working. This is especially true if you choose a degree subject that is unusual or that will help you change your life – or at least your career – completely. However, although it’s great to get out of your comfort zone at times, it’s also a good idea to stick to it when you are studying.
When you find your own comfort zone in terms of your study, you should stay with that and ensure you are as comfortable as possible. If you study better in the morning, make that part of your schedule. If you prefer the evenings, then that’s what you need to do. Do what works best, no matter what it might be, and you’ll find you get much better results.