Students Explain How They Find the Time for College

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When working adults start thinking about returning to school to pursue a degree, one of the common questions they ask is “where will I find the time?” The prospect of layering school on top of a full schedule that may already include work, family time, and other activities sounds daunting. And yet, many busy adults have figured out how to make it work. They are pursuing education while living full lives. How do they do it? To answer that question, we went directly to the experts and asked Ashford University students for suggestions on how they fit college into their lives.

Take School with You 

Online education and mobile technology have made it easier than ever for busy adults to return to school. Students can take their coursework with them just about anywhere they go. Now, lunches, coffee breaks, bus commutes, and all sorts of downtime can be transformed into study time.

“Definitely take your laptop/iPad with you when you’re hanging at a friend’s house or unsure of your plans for the day,” said Ashford student Gabriella Beck. “The beauty of online classes is having the freedom to live your life, while still being on top of your studies wherever you are. Also, download the app. Stay on top of your grades and see what other students are contributing to class.”

Map It Out

With the knowledge that you’ll be able to take your online classroom with you wherever you go, you might find it beneficial to map out a study schedule. Think about the quiet moments in your day that could be devoted to coursework. 

“Plan your days around your due dates,” advised Regina Nichols. “It’s possible to make time for family and friends while doing online school.”

“Set a schedule and stick to it,” added Hannah Nethken. “It is very easy to make excuses and put off doing the work, however, it is easy for life to get in the way and create unnecessary stress that could have been avoided if you just did what you originally set out to do.”

Get the Support You Need

Before you enroll in school, it’s a good idea to talk about your decision with the people closest to you. Let them know your education is important and you’d like their support. They might be able to help free up some of your time by picking up some of your responsibilities. 

“Be fair to yourself!” said Whitney McMillian. “Multitasking may be great in other areas, but make sure homework time is just for homework. You are investing in yourself and your future, so it pays to be a bit selfish with your time now. Have a support system that understands this.”

Eyes on the Prize

Pursuing a degree might entail some sacrifices, but those sacrifices are easier to make if you’re able to visualize your end goal. Consider how accomplished you will feel when your graduation day arrives.

“I have three degrees from Ashford and attended the graduation on May 1 of this year,” said Lynn Williams. “Walking across the stage as my family cheered me on was well worth the sleepless nights, long hours of studying, and tons of papers that I had to write. I wouldn’t change a thing and am forever grateful to the Ashford University family!”

If you prioritize your education and try some of the tips that have worked for Ashford students, you can find the time to go back to school. Realize there are often obstacles to pursuing a degree, but the results can be so rewarding. 

Written by Erik Siwak, Communications Manager for Bridgepoint Education

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