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How to Balance Online Classes and a Regular Work
It’s not unusual to take classes while you work a full-time job. It is, however, something that can be incredibly stressful for those who work full-time and try to take a full classload. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll want to follow the tips below.
Take a Reasonable Class Load
The best place to start is with your class load. If you’re working full time, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to balance too many classes with your workload. As such, you want to be careful about the number of classes for which you sign up and the overall speed at which you’re looking to get through school. It’s usually not a good idea to take many more credits than what’s necessary to graduate on time if you’re also working a full-time job.
Look at the Syllabus
It’s also a very good idea to take a look at the syllabus for your class so that you know what’s going to be required of you before the class starts. It’s actually quite a bit easier to balance a tough class with work when you’re prepared than it is to deal with an easy class if you are surprised by every assignment. Another huge benefit of checking out the syllabus is that you’ll know exactly when all of your big assignments are due so that you can get started on them in your spare time.
Talk to the Professor
While online courses aren’t famous for providing face-to-face communications, that doesn’t mean that you can’t check in with your professor. It’s a good idea to send your professor an email early on during the course of the class to ask him or her how you can better pace yourself and what you can do to get the most of the time you can spend on the class. While this is great for those who are looking to get ahead, it’s also quite a bit easier to ask a professor for help later on during the semester if you have already established a relationship.
Make the Most of Your Days Off
Even those who work full-time have some days off, so make sure that you plan to make the most of those days. Don’t be afraid to schedule some of your vacation days around the time of a big test and certainly don’t be afraid to work on your big assignments on your regular days off. Try to plan out specific homework days to coincide with your days off so that you don’t fall behind. If you’re able to schedule your work around your online classes, you can also use these days to get ahead on your classwork.
Be Realistic About Your Commitments
Finally, try to be realistic about your commitments. If you have a job that required you to work overtime, you probably don’t have time to take a lot of extra classes. While it’s great to try to graduate early, try to remember that passing classes and making progress is a worthwhile goal in and of itself. Try to take a frank look at what you can realistically accomplish before you commit to any class schedule.
The key to balancing online classes with work is to look at what you can do, maximize the time you have off, and plan as well as you can for the semester. If you can create a reasonable plan for success and stick to it, you’ll find yourself among the many successful individuals who are able to hold down a job and complete a degree at the same time.
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