Have a Life While Going to School
Busy schedules make it hard for Americans to add more activities to their days. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average worker between the ages of 25 and 54 with children spends 8.8 hours a weekday on the career, but only 2.6 hours in leisure and sports activities.
But higher education should be your priority if you’re interested in pursuing a new career or looking to advance in your current job. A new degree can open many doors, thanks to the skills and relationships you develop in school. So how do you have a life while going to school? Here are some options:
Take time off from work
If you want to finish your degree quickly, you might take a long break from work to focus exclusively on school. It’s easy to go back to school and ear your degree when you employer a leave of absence for education. Of course, most people do not have this option. Even if you can take time off, you’ll need to calculate your finances to determine whether you can go without your regular income while you’re on leave.
Take night classes
Some families reschedule their time to allow one family member to take night classes. Oftentimes, you can only take one or two courses at a time. On nights when class meets, you’ll either have to cut back on time you spend with your family, or cut back on sleep. Depending on your family, your spouse and children might cover for you by tackling more chores while you study.
Enroll in online courses
With more flexible scheduling, online college degrees are a popular option for many working adults who are juggling families and work. Students enrolled in an online college can take up to a full load of courses and do the homework on their own time. For example, you may be very efficient in the early morning hours. With an online course, you can get up early, turn on your computer, laptop, tablet, or even your smartphone, and catch up on the latest notes from the professor or your classmates’ discussion. With the family still asleep, this is your time. You’re free to learn with no distractions before heading out to your busy day at work.
Or you might want to set aside your lunch hours at work for your school time during the week. Or you could dedicate specific weekend hours for online courses. The luxury of online courses is that you can take them anywhere, at any time. Is the family taking a vacation for spring break? Keep up with your homework at the airport or even on the plane once it’s in air. Online colleges like Ashford University provide technology that makes it so much easier to go to school, do your work, and stay active in your family.
For example, the Ashford Mobile App is continuously updated and can be used on Androids, iPhones, tablets, and the Kindle Fire to connect students at all times with the latest classroom updates. This app gives students everything they need, from a chance to check their grades and get feedback from the instructor, to an easy way to access the Ashford Library.
Plus, Ashford’s Constellation platform replaces paper textbooks with digital content, including audio and video files. Constellation lets you make notes and highlight your text. And you can take virtual follow-up tests to see how much you remember. If the professor wants to include a video for you to watch, it’s right there in the interface, so you don’t have to download anything.
Many universities offer online courses continuously, so you don’t have to wait for the calendar year or semester to pass before starting your education. For example, Ashford University recommends that students take one course at a time. Once you complete a course, you immediately move on to the next. You could also to take a month off between two courses to enjoy a family trip or finish a huge project at the office. This flexibility in scheduling caters to busy adults who want to earn a new degree, but don’t want to work around a structured semester.
Earning a college degree isn’t easy, but the benefits may make it very worthwhile. For example, over their lifetime, college graduates can earn two times the overall salary of their counterparts who only have a high school degree, according to the US Census Bureau. A college degree can open new career doors, either in your current job or when changing industries. Online education makes scheduling much easier, so you can earn that degree.
Written by Ashford University staff