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Balancing School with Full-Time Work

Continuing your education is a challenge under even the best of
circumstances. Studying is time-consuming, and requires at least
moderate amounts of concentration and effort. But if you’re already in
full-time employment or working as a full-time mother, the thought of
having to add yet another major resource drain into your schedule may
seem like an impossibility. You already struggle to get everything done
as it is, and you dread the thought of having to give up any of your
precious, infrequent free time to anything that’s not relaxation. So
how on earth are you supposed to fit school into an already packed
schedule?

Balancing School with Full-Time Work

First of all, it helps not think of school as an obligation, or a chore that
has to be dealt with. Remember, you’re going back to school because you
want to, and believe it or not, learning is not supposed to be
a hassle. It can actually be a lot of fun, especially if you are
studying something you enjoy, which is usually the case with adult
students. Psychologically, there’s a big difference between making time
for something you’re looking forward to and making time for something
you hate. If you continually feel dread about going to classes, perhaps
it’s time to speak to a school adviser and find out what the problem is
and how it can be fixed. Sometimes switching to a class at a different
time, or maybe changing the focus of your studies, can have a big
impact on your feelings toward your education.

When you first start dealing with the practicalities of going to
school, be reasonable about your choices. Even though it is
theoretically possible that you could work from 9 to 5 everyday, then go
to class from 5 to 10, and then do your course work late at night, a
schedule like that is going to get exhausting very quickly, and soon
it’s likely that you’ll start feeling defeated and have doubts about
whether or not you can complete your course. It’s tempting to want to
cram as many classes in as possible so that you can get school out of
the way and move onto better things, but trying to sprint through school
hardly works if you end up failing most of your exams because you were
too exhausted to study due to the demanding schedule. Remember that you
do need free time, you do need to relax, and in the long run you will
have better grades and a happier time at school if you choose a schedule
that allows you to breathe a little. If that means it takes you an
extra semester or two to finish, so what? School is not a race, and
nothing is worth sacrificing your mental and emotional health for.

If you have a family or work as a full-time mom, make sure that your
kids understand that you’re going to school, too, and that you’re going
to be working on your studies just as hard as they should be working on
theirs. This is actually an excellent opportunity to be a good example
for the kids, because we all know they can resent having to do their
homework. If you’re all in the same boat, it becomes a bonding point,
and can make the hardships of school less frustrating for everyone.
Perhaps the first hour after school is a good time for everyone,
including you, to sit at the table and get some homework done.

Read :Re-Learning How to Learn

There is no easy way to schedule any life, much less one that
involves both work and further education, but with a bit of creative
juggling and the admission that you are only human, it can be done.
Keep the class load down to a reasonable level, make sure you have a
good support network of friends and family, and most importantly give
yourself permission to enjoy what you’re doing. Education should be
rewarding, and not just after you get the diploma.

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