APU Careers & Learning Online Learning

The Full-Time Workload and College Balance

The Full-Time Workload and College BalanceGoing back to school is a big deal. On top of having a mortgage, full-time job, and a busy family life now you’ll be adding yet another challenge into your life. People may think you’re crazy, but with a realistic goal, a little planning and a lot of perseverance, you will get through it. I compare going back to school as a full-time working adult with a family as I would to executing a sound business plan (this is the MBA student in me talking):


[Interested in business? Learn more about the varied topics and interests in an online business administration degree.]

  1. Do your research
    How many classes do you have in your program? How many weeks are each of your classes?
  2. Plan your classes
    Depending on the other activities going on in your life, you can have a good overview of your calendar for the next few weeks. Make sure there is room for new classes.
  3. Start slowly
    Just like training for a marathon, you will need time before picking up a nice pace. After all, your brain is a muscle that might need some training before working in full academic capacity. No need to start taking four classes at the same time, because you might end up completely overwhelmed and discouraged. Start yourself off slow.
  4. Get a routine
    Make time for your classes. You will be more productive if you have scheduled times to concentrate on school instead of working. Just like you would make a dentist’s appointment, make an appointment with yourself and your books, several times a week.
  5. Assess and adapt
    As the weeks go by, you should get a better grasp on your time management. Your grades, your state of fatigue and your overall happiness will be good indicators to measure if you are capable of juggling it all. If not, review your course schedule, take a break and get back on track.

[related: More tips to online learning success.]

By: Isabelle dV
Guest Online Learning Tips Writer and M.B.A. student at American Public University

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