How To Balance College And Full-Time Work

This is a guest post by Vern Marker. Find out more about him in the author bio at the end of the post.

Putting yourself through school has always been an admirable goal. Whether you are fortunate enough to have plenty of financial resources or are reliant on financial aid, the time, focus and skills to successfully complete a course load can be all inclusive for most people attempting such feats.

Today more adults are seeking to finish a college education, or work towards one of the many advanced degree programs than ever before. Most people pursuing higher education are regular folks who have lives and financial responsibilities.

Thus the balancing act arrives on stage when you consider how to best get ahead in the world in the quickest time frame possible. The prospect of attending a college or university full time makes sense, however, on the other side of the scale are the liabilities which need to be maintained and paid for. For this reason, many people choose to enroll in accelerated programs.

Whether you’re part of an accelerated program or a traditional one, the following list of tips will ideally provide you with the basis for making better choices when it comes to attempting this circus act. While hopefully not one of the death defying type, school and work can, at times, get to the point where they might feel like an all or nothing proposition. Instead of getting overwhelmed and eventually burned out, why not take a few extra moments to understand how to become best prepared to balance regular life with a few years of one in the academic learning world.

Work and School: A Balancing Act

Make Sure: Understanding exactly why the project of going to school at this point in life will provide a number of benefits when it comes to ongoing motivation. Whimsical undertaking of attending college courses full time while holding down a 40+ hour a week job or career is very hard, especially if you continually question the reasons behind having made the decision.

Make Cents: Or more accurately, save money. Where possible reduce or eliminate expenses which are luxury items. The necessities are what is important to survival. The less money you require to exist, the fewer hours will be needed to trade for dollars in order to pay for living requirements. With more hours freed up from having to work, the ability to take classes, study and learn increases.

Make a Plan: Perhaps the easiest of these tips on how to balance school and work, however many people undertaking such life objectives fail to plan much further than their first class or semester. Understanding how finances will be affected, the demands of learning on your time, family and friends interaction, etc. can make the difference in successfully understanding all you’re taught and simply going through the motions. Planning for changes in income, less time for personal aspects of life, and more should give a working student a better feel for what to expect in their upcoming life.

Make a Choice: Is the curriculum you are interested in located nearby? Or will this life changing choice require a geographical relocation? Perhaps the prospect of taking some or your entire course load online might be considered. The breadth and depth of college course available via the Internet today rivals even the biggest and best traditional university offerings.

Make Haste: Once the plans are made, and a sound financial plan is in place, realize the sooner you start and proceed towards your new educational goals, the faster you are going to finish and be able to start using your new knowledge and skills earning increased salaries out in the real world.

Anyone deciding to finish an education or just getting advanced degree while participating in full time work should be commended. Commendations, however, won’t do the work so be sure to make sound, rational decisions and forge ahead towards the life you desire.

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7 Comments:
  1. I have been working full time for the last two years with law school though they are evening classes from 5pm. I must admit that it was extremely difficult at the beginning but once you get into the routine and learn how to balance your time, you can survive but trust me, it;s not for the faint hearted.

    Esther (Uganda)

    • You’re a trooper! The most I ever worked while in school was 20 hours a week, though I did put a lot of extra hours into this blog. However, the strict schedule must be pretty tough. Glad you can handle it! :)

  2. I have been working full time and studying full time for three years now and I have been working 2 jobs during summer. Doesnt worth it dont buy expensive car that you cant afford, live in a shittier place, dont do what I do…

  3. Wonderful post! I am sure it will help many individuals who are thinking of or have already returned to school strike a better balance between their education, career and personal commitments. Like Vern says, taking online classes to get your advanced degree is an extremely viable option for those juggling multiple commitments. Online degree programs ( http://www.stevenshenager.edu/ ) offered by accredited colleges and universities these days are at par with the traditional ones as far as quality of education and complexity of curriculum is concerned. In addition to that, online education gives you that much needed flexibility to keep your life running smoothly.

  4. Wonderful post! I am sure it will help many individuals who are thinking of or have already returned to school strike a better balance between their education, career and personal commitments. Like Vern says, taking online classes to get your advanced degree is an extremely viable option for those juggling multiple commitments. <a href=”http://www.stevenshenager.edu/”>Online degree programs</a> offered by accredited colleges and universities these days are at par with the traditional ones as far as quality of education and complexity of curriculum is concerned. In addition to that, online education gives you that much needed flexibility to keep your life running smoothly.

  5. As a recent graduate, I can totally relate to the neverending balancing act of academics and work (while still squeezing in a social life!), and these tips are very on point.  There are also many different scholarship and financing options available to students, they should definitely never overlook those!  I think this article adds on some more useful info about funding (and balancing) your way through college: http://j.mp/gCupTT

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