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5 Tips on How to Be a Working Student

By Marian Blakely

It's time to debunk the old saying about old dogs and new tricks. Researchers from the University of California - Riverside have found that adults can get over the natural barriers of cognitive aging by focusing on broad learning instead of specialized learning. This means that for adults to learn, they must simply approach learning with an open mind and a continued focus towards growth and development. And the great thing is, today's adult learners have so many opportunities to do so, as technological innovations like those provided by Google continue to aid adult education. So if you're thinking about going back to school all while retaining your current job, it’s important to understand that it's not impossible. Read on for some tips you may need along the way!

Learn to Focus

Now that you’re embarking on this journey, you'll have to accept that you'll be making sacrifices along the way. The sooner you accept this, the smoother things will go. You may not have as much free time as you once had, as you'll now be juggling both work and school. Focus on what's important and on the things that simply can't wait. Remind yourself of the end goal, and remember that you are doing this to better yourself.

Plan it Out

One way to help you focus would be by setting a schedule and adhering to it. It would also be important to establish a to-do list at the start of each day so you can map out all the things you have to do for the day. Set small attainable goals instead of one big one for a higher chance of success. Inc Magazine goes further into this by emphasizing the importance of setting small attainable goalsas a way to form habits. Use habit formation to your advantage so that you can get a hang of your routine quicker than you otherwise would.

Take Breaks

In line with planning everything out, be sure to also throw in some time for you to relax and recuperate. After all, psychologists at Maryville University have found that mental health and learning success are intricately connected, which means that sacrificing your wellbeing for the sake of your studies and work is nothing but counterproductive. So, it's best to take a step back and prioritize your wellbeing — whether that means making sure you get a full 8 hours of sleep, or taking small breaks when doing long bouts of schoolwork. In this regard, the Pomodoro Method is a good way of avoiding burnout as it makes use of short breaks after 25 minutes of concentrated work.

Live Healthy

Your health will be one of your biggest assets throughout this whole process, as getting sick will only cost you precious time and throw you off your entire schedule. Be sure to eat healthily and get the recommended amount of exercise every day. Now, given the time constraints, it would be understandable that you might not be able to commit to weekly gym visits, but at the very least you should try to take a walk every now and then. NBC News reports that walking is actually a good source of exercise and can even be better than running, as it is a low impact exercise and can be done for longer periods of time.

Ask for Help

We've all probably heard the saying "work smarter, not harder" before, but too many may have misinterpreted what this means. It doesn't mean don't work hard — it just means work more efficiently. You don't have to do everything yourself. Ask others for help as they may be faring better with tasks that you're struggling with. Don't be too hard on yourself as we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses.

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By Marian Blakely

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