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How to Excel as a Student with a Full-Time Job

man sitting at counter on laptopYou’re chasing your dream of getting a college education, but you’re also working a full-time job. You know it won’t be easy, but you’re willing to put in the time and energy to make your career and education work.

Here are ten ways you can maximize your time while studying for your degree. We can’t wait to see you succeed!

Choose the right degree program

Make sure you select a class schedule or method that fits with your work schedule. If your school offers classes one night a week or online, like Southern Nazarene University does, it will be easier to manage both obligations.

Keep your appointments/obligations in one place

Using the same planner for work and school can be helpful to make sure you don’t overcommit yourself. You won't lose track of to-dos for work or school, and you'll be better able to plan for future weeks.

Is an online degree program ideal for your life situation? Download our guide,  What to Expect from an Online Degree Program, to find out!

Wake up early

Getting your schoolwork done first thing can help prevent distractions that may pop up later in the day. Bonus, once it’s out of the way, you’ll have the rest of the day to spend on things that matter to you.

Embrace the in between times

Every second in your day needs to count. Don’t wait for a huge chunk of time to get your homework done. Use little fifteen-minute breaks to answer questions or review content. The time you spend up will add up!

Use your commute

Some professors allow students to record lectures to review later. If you can, record the lecture and listen to it during your commute. If you can’t, make a recording yourself. If you drive twenty minutes each way to work, that’s forty minutes of study time per day!

Bathroom breaks

If you want to get really serious, keep a stack of flashcards in the bathroom. We won’t judge.

Choose your priorities

Create a list of your main values. Things that may not make the list may have to be set aside for the time being. You may have to sacrifice your favorite TV show for study time or your nail appointment for more time with family.

Build in flexibility

Speak with your supervisor about ways your job can accommodate your studies. Maybe you need to come in early some days to leave early another day. Or, maybe once your duties are done, you can study and work on homework.

Take vacation days

Use a day of PTO here and there to study before a major exam or catch up on classes falling through the cracks. If you’re like most Oklahomans, you probably have a few days stored up.

Practice self-care

Running yourself ragged won’t help anyone. Studies prove you can be more productive when you take time to recharge.

Ultimately, you’ll have to find a system that works for you. Practice and try new things. If something is working well for you, share it with your cohort so your fellow students can benefit from all your experience!

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