Studying While Working - it can be Done! Part 2
By Samanatha Donnell
- Is your employer flexible with the hours you work? If you can’t afford to reduce your employment income and your study will require attendance at certain classes perhaps your employer is open to alternative work hours? Some courses require students to attend on campus during business hours – those lost employment hours could be made up outside business hours – again depending on what work you do and your employer's flexibility.
- A reliable computer with a decent internet connection is a must. Local universities are quite good at providing study spaces with computer access; however you will be competing with other students for these and if your study is not through a local university you are restricted even further. Nearly every study has some sort of online access required now, up to and including submitting assignments and taking quizzes.
- The cloud and a smartphone can be your friend - smartphones are getting more and more common these days and I have found mine to be invaluable when it comes to my study. I have my calendar, to-do list and emails accessible via the cloud so that I can see them on my smartphone as well as my computer. Having emails to my smartphone made coordinating on group projects much easier. This can be taken another step by having your coursework saved in cloud storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox or One Drive so you access it from any computer if you don't have a laptop. I personally have not gone this final step - mainly as I haven't needed too - I'm lucky enough to have a desktop computer at home as well as a laptop and have found a handy app that syncs my files directly between the two so there is no confusion on which is the most recent one. I don't tend to handwrite notes if I can help it as I find it much easier to cut and paste notes I have typed in class to make study notes for exams.
- Keep the social life. Remember that you need to find a balance if this is something that is going to take a while, as anything worth studying usually does. So when doing your time budget allow some flexibility for your friends' birthdays, family events and general catch ups. When you have assignments due or exams coming your friends and family will normally be understanding about you not being able to make events but don't make it a habit. You and they need that time to keep your relationships strong and have time to relax.
I hope this has been helpful. Remember that your friends, family and employer can be allies in helping you achieve success. Even if what you are studying is not related to your employment let them know what you are doing and how you are going you may be surprised at the assistance you get. And remember get enough sleep!