As tertiary education is now seen as a ticket to better employment opportunities, research shows that 42% of all college students in America have to juggle between school and family or work responsibilities. While many of these non-traditional students believe that school should always be top priority, their personal circumstances prevent them from fully engaging in school-related activities. In fact, a number of students even have to use a service for their school projects just so they can spend time with their family, or have enough head way to complete projects at work.
We know it’s difficult to be a parent, a breadwinner and a student at the same time. This article is dedicated to those college students who have to attend to many different responsibilities at once, but also want to be able to successfully manage their course work.
1. Preparation is the key.
Spending 20 minutes to create a checklist of what you need to do tomorrow will help you focus your energy from early morning until late into the night. Through this process, you can allot enough time to complete your homework, as well as complete other tasks that demand your attention.
2. Join study groups.
Most people reject study groups because its difficult to work with other people, especially when you are in a rush to complete various tasks. But the reality is that study groups give you various view points in addressing a coursework that you otherwise would not discover on your own. Moreover, technologies such as Skype and Google Hangout enables you to hold your study groups regardless of your physical location, so its no hassle to join one.
3. Establish a routine.
Routines makes your day predictable and ensures that you are always on top of your assignments. Moreover, when you adhere to a strict routine, even your family members and colleagues at work know when you need quiet time for school.
4. Create your own quiet space.
In the same way you need to set aside time to make your coursework, you also need to create a space in your home where you can do your assignments in peace This way you can focus on your coursework, and study without distractions. If you have no room to spare in your home, the library or a coffee shop are great alternatives.
5. Always create a backup of your files.
This is especially important if there are other people using your work or home computer. By having a backup, you will always have your files and can get to another computer to complete your course work.
6. Maintain a calendar.
Every smartphone today has its own calendar feature. Use it to mark deadlines and important dates so you can prepare early for school deliverables and keep track of family and work schedules.
7. Be organized.
Keep your class materials in a separate file so you don’t spend too much time hunting for it. This way, you eliminate tension and frustration, hence enabling you to complete assignments in good time.
8. Stay positive.
There will be a time when you will be in over your head with responsibilities. You will be frustrated, and perhaps angry. This is normal; however, don’t dwell too much in your negative emotions. Remember why you do all this hard work, and surely, you will be able to approach your concerns with a more positive outlook.
9. Take a break.
When you’ve been studying for a big test, or when a work project demands more attention than usual, it is important that you take a short break. Walk your dog, or play with your kids, just take a breather. When you go back, you’ll be pleasantly refreshed, and your head will be much clearer and focused.
10. Use checklists.
Checklists are important because they list all daily tasks you have to do. Moreover, it gives you the satisfaction of ticking off an item you complete. It is both an organizing tool and a reward, so use it to keep you motivated and on top of your requirements.
Do you have other tips to help busy college students manage their schoolwork? Share them today and help another students in need.