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College students come in all ages today. Attending college or training school directly out of high school often means you are balancing your education against everyday living. However, once you have a family and a job, adding education into the mix can become challenging.
Maintaining an optimal school – work/life balance is important to your academic functioning. Students may fall into the trap of prioritizing one over the other, which may lead to a decline in performance, general health and well-being – all critical to optimal academic functioning. The quality of your relationships can also impact the health of a balancing act you’re trying to accomplish, even for a short time, to achieve your professional goals. In addition to juggling relationships with a significant other and/or child, as an adult student, you may also have to juggle competing obligations in the workplace. Without achieving a good balance, this can negatively impact your academic performance and goals.
If you have not been into a classroom, or a virtual classroom, for years, there will be a few things you need to do from the start to prepare yourself for a successful semester while balancing your family and work. The first thing is to get organized and get comfortable. Talk to your counselor about how to take a tour either on campus or online, so as classes begin moving forward, you’re not struggling with the online learning platform or trying to figure out how to get to class. It’s also important to organize your schedule, including your assignments and test dates. When you have a family and work, you’ll have to fit in your assignments and studying for tests with weekly activities that have become a part of your family’s routine.
In many cases, it is best to involve your family in your education. When your children and significant others feel wanted and needed, it’s easier for them to support you. Do your homework together with your children so you can spend time together and get your homework done at the same time. Involve your family when you’re making dinner, cleaning up, or grocery shopping.
Take care to recognize the goals you are achieving. Working toward one goal will help keep you on track and will help you to optimize your schedule to accommodate the needs of your family and workplace. In other words, it’s important to remember that the time is going to pass anyway, so if you are only able to take one class that semester, that’s one more class you’ll be finished with. Don’t put yourself down for being unable to carry a full load when you already have a full load at home and work.
Take time to make time for yourself as one of the most important ways of being successful is to make sure that you’ve recharged your batteries and don’t feel overwhelmed by your daily obligations. Your health is important, so be sure you eat a nutritionally balanced diet, get at least eight hours of sleep a night, and continue to exercise every day. These small tasks will help you to stay more productive, more focused and healthier, all of which will help you achieve your goals.
Prioritize time management practices as this can help cut down on your stress and save you time every day. Organize your tasks into groups, such as checking emails and voice messages at the same time. Avoid procrastinating your obligations at home and school, and learn how to say “no” to others. This is not a time to take on extra work or obligations at home but rather a time for you to focus on getting through school.
Your career development doesn’t have to take a backseat to have a family and work obligations. While you may not move through the education process as quickly as you would fresh out of high school, achieving your goals is still possible. Contact our recruiters today, and we’ll help you find the right work situation to support your professional and educational goals.