College Advice Blog

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Feb 7, 2014

Tips for Working Full Time and Going Back to Graduate School

Top Education 1Imagine a day where you wake up at 6AM, only to finish homework that’s due that night while you eat breakfast. It may sound like a typical high school student’s morning, but imagine heading off to work for 8 hours, and then heading off to school. Doesn’t sound ideal? If you’re a recent college graduate who’s immersed themselves in full time employment for the last several years, your next thought probably isn’t getting back to school. If you are making the decision to continue your education, quitting your full time job may not be an option. However, you can successfully manage work, and school, the key is finding the perfect balance. 

Know Your Limits
If you are going to school while working 40-50 hour weeks, it’s going to be tough to fit in school and homework into the mix. Before you even step a foot into the classroom, list responsibilities you have that you simply cannot afford to fall behind on. This will not only allow you to figure out where your free time is, but it will help you stop procrastinating once school actually starts. 

Schedule Success
Pay attention to upcoming dates and deadlines, if you were a chronic last minute worker in college, now is the time to change your ways. If possible look for ways to finish projects early. Use otherwise wasted time like subway rides to catch up on reading, or lunch breaks at work to study for an exam. Even make sure to schedule in time to visit with family and friends, or just take a breather. Taking a step away from your work will insure that you don’t burn yourself out, and keep you refreshed. 

Communicate with Work
If you are looking to get a promotion at work, communicate with them that you are going back to school to gain a new skill set that will be an advantage to the company. Sometimes employers will offer a stipend towards education to employees, provided they continue to work with the company once they have completed the program. 

Stay Focused
When work and school gets too overwhelming, focus on the future. Whether it’s leaving a photo on your desk to inspire you or writing down your goals somewhere, keep in mind what you are working towards. By continuing your education, you are giving yourself an edge in the workplace, and possibly making a career switch that will make you happier in the long term. 

Following these tips may help you succeed at leading a balanced life while going back to school. Best of luck to all those continuing their education! Remember you’re not alone, there are many adults going back to school! 

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About the author
Jessica Finger currently works for Noodle, whose mission is to help anyone make a more informed decision about their education. From K-12 to college, to graduate school, Noodle allows you to search thousands of opportunities, get advice from experts, and find the right path for you. Jessica is a graduate of Quinnipiac University, and outside of work likes reading, going to the theater, and exploring the Internet. Follow her on twitter: @jkfinger. 
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