Dear Lifehacker, I am just about to start studying at university by correspondence while still working full time in a blue collar job. What advice do you have for someone in my position? Thanks, Nervous Student
Studying picture from Shutterstock
Nerves are to be expected, but tens of thousands of Australians can testify that it is possible to work full-time while studying. To make it feasible, we’d offer this advice:
- Don’t overcommit. Especially when you’re first resuming study, it can seem overwhelming. Start slowly — take on just a single subject.
- Set a study timetable and stick to it. Committing regular hours every week will ensure you get through the subject. For some topics, an hour every night will prove more effective than trying to cram it into the weekend, but that also depends on your learning style and existing work commitments. Whatever fits in, make sure it’s regular, and not a frantic end-of-semester cram.
- Grab every interaction opportunity you can. Many courses offer online tutorials at specific times, and most universities have online forums where you can chat with fellow students. Take advantage of these — studying is not an entirely solitary activity, and you can lots of helpful advice and support from your fellow students.
- Eat healthily and get plenty of sleep. Study is tiring. Ensure you’re at maximum potential by sticking to a healthy diet and making sure you allocate time for sleep. Staying up until 3am working on an assignment won’t get you good marks and won’t help with your day job either.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Universities have plenty of resources to help out if you’re struggling, whether that’s with essay writing or grasping a particular aspect of a topic. Don’t be shy; ask when you’re not sure.
Those are the basics — we’d love additional suggestions from readers who have been there in the comments. Good luck!
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