Millions of adults around the world are choosing to go back to school. Are you one of them? Education for working adults is more accessible than ever with online classes, in-person classes, and part-time or hybrid options.
The challenge of returning to school as an adult may be daunting. However, you are not the first person to have done so. Here are four ways to dominate going back to school while working full time.
1. Define Your Goals
To stay motivated and avoid giving up when things get stressful, it can be helpful to write down your short and long-term goals. Why are you going back to school? How will graduating benefit your future and your family? Where do you want to be five years from now, and how does school fit into that picture?
Keep your notes in a safe place and refer back to them whenever everything seems crazy. Sometimes, you’ll need a little reminder about why you started school to get you through the semester.
2. Ask For Help
It can be difficult to admit when you need help, but it can make all the difference. Turning to your professors or a tutor is the smartest thing you could do when struggling with the course material. It’s okay to admit that you can’t do it all alone and that you don’t understand everything the first time. Life is a process, and people can turn to family members, friends, and mentors to help get them through it.
If school and work are really overwhelming, ask someone you trust to help you out with your kids for a few hours or fix a meal for you while you study, catch up, or do some self-care. Asking someone for assistance may be hard, but the burnout and stress of trying to do everything alone are even harder.
3. Prioritize Self-care
When you have so much on your plate that you aren’t sure where to start, it can be hard to add self-care to the mix. However, there is nothing more crucial than taking care of yourself. Sleepless nights, lots of caffeine, and working in addition to all the studying you’re doing can wear you down quickly.
Taking time for yourself can help counteract the effects of stress. Try taking a small break from your responsibilities every hour or schedule an hour of the day to destress with no guilt.
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4. Schedule Everything
Working and studying will indeed make you busier than you have ever been before. However, scheduling everything can help bring some order to the chaos. It can help to have a weekly planning session where you look at the calendar and write down everything that is due and any work and family commitments you may have. Then, you can pencil in times for study or for working on specific assignments to ensure that you’ll leave enough time to complete them.
You’ve Got This
Returning to school as an adult isn’t always easy, but it will be worth it. By following these four tips, you’ll be well on your way to rocking your first (or last) semester!