Part-time degrees have always had its place. Furthermore, distance learning programs and online degrees are fast gaining popularity, due to their unique offerings and convenience. Be it for upgrading, personal interest or career advancement, there is bound to be a part-time course for everyone.
How can you manage your time better, as an employee and part-time student? Molly Whyte from TimesHigherEducation.com shares with you some tips on how you can make juggling the two work.
1. Schedule efficiently
All degrees involve managing competing priorities, but this is an even more important skill for part-time students. You are likely to be switching between mindsets and commuting frequently between home, work and your school. Figure out ways to save time, like organising group project meetings before or after class, reserving books that you can pick up at the library when you are nearby and incorporating reading into your daily metro ride. It would be useful to understand how you work efficiently and implement it.
2. Maintain boundaries
Establishing a clear divide between paid/professional work and university work is not always easy so it might be helpful to separate your tasks, whether by time blocks or days. However, it can be good to allow a degree of flexibility. Make sure to make time for writing, relationships and rest. Switching off is important too!
3. Build relationships
It can be harder to develop relationships with other students and tutors when you need to head straight from class to work or fit in a productive afternoon at the library. Make time to socialise with classmates, even if that just means a quick cup of tea or lunch on campus. Get to know your tutors and different research areas in your department as well. If you are not on campus during office hours, try to arrange another time to meet since most academics can be flexible.
4. Look ahead
It can be useful to think ahead and plan in advance. As a part-time student, you can consult your full-time friends on module recommendations in the upcoming terms. You will also get to see them go through the dissertation process first and hopefully benefit from their experiences. Yet, it is important to take things slow. Try to appreciate having more time to explore your interests and gain additional experience.