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Tips for Balancing Work and Tertiary Study

Handling College Like a Grown-Up

Making the decision to go back to school as a working adult is a brave and smart one. Earning a college degree opens up personal and professional doors that are currently closed. It virtually guarantees eventual promotions and pay raises at work. Some businesses even pay for their employees to go back to school. Being educated also broadens one’s social landscape. For better or worse, this world is still a class based one, and completing a college degree will make an individual feel more on par with her peers. Adults often feel that their work schedules will prevent them from succeeding in school, but there are ways to guarantee success.

Start Small

Many adults do not like the feeling of being older than their classmates. They are embarrassed to be placed on the same level as teenagers. They may try to push themselves to finish quickly because they do not want to spend too much time in this uncomfortable situation. This is a mistake. Adults need to keep in mind that they are already successful, so they are not beholden to anyone else’s timeline. There is absolutely nothing wrong with only taking one class per semester. In fact, a new student should only enroll in one or two classes during her first semester. This will help her gauge her ability to manage course loads while working. She may even decide to only take one course at a time.

The student does not have to immerse herself in a full four-year program if it does not suit her goals. She can start with a two-year associate’s program, which is less intimidating. If she already has her associate’s or bachelor’s but feels that she needs additional schooling to move up at work, she should research certification programs in her area. There is no need to waste time and money on wholly new degrees when many community colleges offer vocational programs for students who have already been to college.


Enrolling in school is easy; going to classes and getting good grades are the tricky parts. Arranging classes around a work schedule can be difficult. It might mean that the student is unable to take classes that look interesting because the timing is not convenient. She needs to account for traffic and parking difficulties when figuring out when she can be present on campus.

Assignments that require research or attendance at off-campus events can be difficult for working students to complete. The load can be lessened by using one’s lunch hour to complete readings and write papers.

This article was written by the team at the Engineering Institute of Technology. They offer many engineering courses online including an advanced diploma of engineering technology with live instructors. Check out their site today.

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