Working & Schooling — Together??!!

So, how do you do it? How do you work 35 – 40 hours a week and still go to school?

A few months ago, I was asked this question by an eighteen year old girl. The short answer: time management.

The long answer:

I attend college the untraditional way: online. I take classes at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). I also work full time, anywhere from 35 – 40 hours. In addition to school and work, I am involved in a number of extracurricular activities. I am a Peer Leader on the university’s social media site. I do some freelance writing on the side. And now I have this blog.

So, how do I do it?

At the beginning of each term (which is eight weeks long), I print out the syllabus for each class (I take two classes every term). The syllabus is a very useful piece of college documentation. It lists all of my assignments and their due dates. For example, let’s say that I have Monday and Friday off. Because discussion board posts are due by Thursday, I would work on the assigned readings on Monday and a discussion board posting. I would then work on the second class’ readings and discussion board postings on Tuesday and Wednesday (giving myself two days because I’m working both days).

Once the discussion board posts are done (usually by Wednesday at the latest), I devote the rest of my week to work on the more time consuming assignments, such as short papers, papers, quizzes, and projects. In my hypothetical example, I still have Friday as a day off to work on those assignments. I also have the nights on the other days.

I feel like that I’ve tried to cram too much information into one post, so let’s recap:

  • Plan your week (use planners to write out a schedule of everything that you have going on)
  • Stick to your schedule
  • Prioritize your life (what’s more important? That big paper you have to write or watching a movie on Netflix?)

And, finally, one thing I did not mention:

  • Reward yourself. Go for a walk, eat a snack, read a book. Something. Anything. Do something that you enjoy to reward yourself  for working hard, getting a good grade, or simply because you deserve it.

So, next time you have a lot of things going on, try this and let me know how it worked out by commenting below!

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