For full-time students, time management is very important. Going to schoolis essentially their job, and they have to devote most of their day to their studies. But time management takes on a whole different meaning for those students who are returning to school after an absense.
If the students are going back to school full time, part time, or just taking a single class, it can be extremely difficult to balance the school work with an already-established life. Family and children, a job or a career, and other obligations simply can’t be simply ignored so that a student can do some work for a class. In many cases, it’s incredibly difficult to find a way to make it all work.
Find the right school – If time is a big issue, then this is a very important part of the process. On line schools offer the greatest flexibility, allowing you to complete a great deal of the course work on your own time line. However, if you want to go to a class room to learn (the old fashioned way, so to speak) then find a convenient local college or school that offers night classes. Find a program that you think you can handle, based on the other aspects of your life.
Plan ahead – Let your boss know way ahead of time that you are going back to school. Even if you don’t have any special schedule considerations, let them know in case something does come up. When you get your schedule for a semester, see if there are any time and date specific sessions (a test or class session that requires you be logged in at a certain time) for any classes, so you can make arrangements to have that time off work. And not just work, any volunteering commitments, or any regular obligation you have.
Need Help? Get Help! – Do you have children? Then start looking for help now. I don’t mean a lot of help, maybe just a little, but it is almost impossible to summon the focus and concentration needed on a regular basis if you have to care for, or just put up with, children. Take it from me, I was a full time parent while finishing up my degree on line. Between the domestic side of parenting, and the physical/active side of parenting, and the all the hundred little miscelleneous things a parent does through out any given day, there is very little time or brain power left for school.
So find a good sitter, someone to play with the kids for a couple hours while you study or do board posts. Consider any money spent on this to be a necessary part of your school expenses. But without a little help, you risk burning out quickly, or doing poorly in your classes.