When returning to school, adult learners have much to consider. Unlike their younger counterparts, adult learners may have more difficulties balancing the workload of school and their other responsibilities. This is not to say young learners are carefree as students, however adult learners tend to have additional responsibilities related to finances and family care. Adult learners, who may need to raise a family and manage a household, may be less productive if their mind is preoccupied with other things.
Continue reading to learn how adult learners can balance their school work and personal lives.
Related blog: Five Things to Consider as an Adult Learner
Responsibilities from school and life may often clash with each other. Prioritizing your most important tasks will help to manage your workload. Determine what your most important tasks and assignments are so that you can work around completing them. Know the deadlines for important assignments and responsibilities. For example, a student with a child may prioritize making dinner at evening. Compare this to another student who may prioritize completing two major projects. Understand which of your tasks are important, so you can complete them first.
Following a well-developed schedule will make balancing school and life more manageable. A good schedule will highlight what you need to do on any given day. It would be best if you considered school and personal responsibilities to maintain a positive school-life balance. Your schedule won’t be perfect on the first day. As more time passes, you will be able to adjust your schedule to fit your routine. Lastly, tell others about your plans so that they can accommodate your schedule.
3) Try Online classes
Many adult learners may not have the opportunity to return to school as full-time students. Online courses are highly recommended because of their flexible nature which allow you to better balance school work with your personal life. In fact, many educational institutions already offering online courses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more from our previous blog for online learning tips.
Related blog: Five Tips for eLearning
4) Set clear boundaries
One reason why many students have difficulties with school/life balance is because responsibilities may overlap with each other. For example, an adult learner may be worried about submitting an assignment while they are at work. Setting clear boundaries will allow you to keep the student work away from your persona life. When you are studying, your focus should be entirely on your success as a student. Know when you are acting as a student and when you are not to avoid additional stress. Set aside time in your schedule to focus on work, studying, and relaxing.
5) Your Job and School
Many adult learners will continue working while taking classes. As a result, flexible alternatives such as nighttime or online classes are usually preferred. Let your supervisor know that you are attending classes; they may be able to accommodate your schedule. Furthermore, identify high-stress periods during the school semester and consider taking time off work if possible. These times may include exam periods and upcoming deadlines for important assignments.
6) Ask for help when needed
Don’t be shy about asking for assistance when you are overwhelmed. Reach out to your friends and family who are able to help you in your personal life. At school, ask your instructors and classmates for help as well. Many instructors are welcoming and able to accommodate your personal situation. If you don’t ask for help, others won’t know you need any.
Adult learners who are overwhelmed may find themselves sleeping less in order to balance school and life. Being overwhelmed and stressed will result in burn-out; signs include falling asleep during class and not being able to concentrate. This may sound simple, but it is important to rest your body. Sleeping has many benefits which we often overlook. For example, sleep helps maintain a strong body, improve our mood, reduce stress, and improve memory. Aside from sleep, students can manage their stress levels by taking regular breaks, being physically active, and getting fresh air.
Support is here
We know that returning to school is a big decision. Many internationally trained professions choose to go back to school in order to have their oversea credentials recognized by Canadian employers. Internationally trained professionals in Alberta and Saskatchewan may be eligible for the free career support services offered by Career Loans. Our clients will work with an expert counsellor in order to develop a personalized action plan. Clients are also able to access a micro loan of up to $15,000 to help cover fees associated with tuition, training, or credential recognition. All our services are virtual, meaning they can be accessed from the comfort of your own home!
Find out more and apply today by clicking here!