Balancing college classes with working full-time may seem daunting, but it is possible with the right time management and self-care strategies.
You might be worried about having enough time to dedicate to your classes, managing your budget or being able to spend time with family and friends. But having a plan before you start classes and paying attention to what is and isn’t working will make working full-time and going to school easier.
At Nebraska Methodist College (NMC), the admissions team can provide insight into the demands of your program of choice and whether going to school and working full-time is possible.
Why Return to School While Working Full-Time?
If balancing working full-time and going back to school seems overwhelming, consider continuing your education could change your career and life.
The benefits of going back to college include:
- Advancing your career.
- Changing your career.
- Gaining expertise in your field.
- Becoming a leader in your area of specialization.
Getting a degree will give you more opportunities to grow in your career and become a leader in the healthcare community. It could also help increase your earning potential.
Challenges Faced When Returning to School and Working
There are challenges to working full-time while attending college. But if you’re aware of the hurdles you may face, you’ll be more prepared to overcome them.
The most common challenges students face when trying to balance work and school are:
- Time management issues.
- Financial concerns.
- Balancing personal life.
How to Juggle Working Full-Time and Going to School
The biggest hurdle many students face is managing their schedule. It takes time to earn your degree, and if you have a full-time job and are raising a family, you have to become efficient with your time management.
Here are some ideas for managing your time while taking classes:
- Find a program that offers evening and weekend classes.
- Choose a program that is 100% online, a hybrid program.
- Create a schedule that includes time for studying, social activities and relaxation.
- Use paid time off to study for big exams.
- Set clear expectations with friends and family to protect your study time.
Adding tuition and textbooks to your expenses might also create a challenge while you’re in school. If money is holding you back from returning to college, remember that there are ways to reduce the cost of your education.
There are scholarships and grants available for undergraduate, transfer and graduate students.
If you work at a hospital, they may have a tuition reimbursement program or an academy program that pays for your tuition in return for years of service to the organization.
Many colleges, including NMC, offer free budgeting and finance classes for students. There are also services, such as a food pantry and crisis fund, for students who experience times of financial need.
While it may be overwhelming to think about the cost of college, the long-term investment is worth it.
Finding a balance between work, school and personal life might also be challenging. It’s important to remember that life will never be perfectly balanced. At times, certain things become more of a priority. You may have to decline invitations to social activities to study while you’re in college. But that won’t last forever.
Taking care of yourself will give you the physical, mental and emotional energy you’ll need to juggle work, school and home life. Maintain boundaries around your time to avoid burnout.
If you find yourself struggling, you can enroll in a program part-time or use student loans to pay for college and reduce your work hours.
Choosing the Right Education Path
Choosing the right program will make a difference in whether you can work full-time and go to school.
An online program will give you the flexibility to listen to lectures, read course material and complete assignments on your own time. You also don’t have to worry about the time spent driving to a campus.
A hybrid program will include online and on-campus classes or labs.
A traditional on-campus program will require you to be in person for all your classes.
You’ll have to consider which option is right for you and your work schedule.
Take the Next Step to Start Your Education Journey
Remember that getting a college degree is an investment in your future. Juggling your time, finances and work-school-life balance are short-term challenges that will lead you to a brighter future.
Are you ready to take the next step in your educational journey while balancing your full-time work?
At NMC, we're committed to providing flexible, high-quality programs for working professionals like you. Explore our courses and discover how we can help you achieve your career and personal goals. It's never too late to expand your horizons and shape your future.
Start your journey with us today—click here to learn more about our programs and apply now. Together, we can make your dreams a reality!