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15 Tips For Anyone Who Works Full-Time And Is Still Studying

Going back to study might seem impossible, but trust me, you can do this!

People decide to upskill for a number of reasons: To follow a passion, to change careers or to go further in their current field.

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If you choose to upskill and stay ahead of the curve, you're more likely to go further in your field.

Whatever the reason, there's no denying it: Juggling full-time work and a course load can take its toll.

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Your adding classes, assessments and homework to your already busy schedule.

Here are some things you can do to minimise the stress of balancing study and work.

1. First off, get flexible with your routine!

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Trying to fit coursework into your life is going to take up some of your free time and you're going to have to let some things go. You don't have to say no to everything you did before, but you might have to change plans or skip some nights out, to make sure you can complete your study.

2. Prepare for all your classes — especially the first one.


Being organised from the get-go will give you a better mindset for your study. Coursework is generally put up online a week or two before class starts (depending on where you're studying), so if you're already behind before you officially start, then you'll need to rethink your schedule.

3. Be honest with yourself about how you're coping.


You may not have a choice about how many hours you have to work a week, but you do have a choice in how many hours you dedicate to uni. If you're struggling to keep up with your course, there's nothing wrong if you decide to study part-time. Take one subject a semester if you have to — no one is timing you.

4. And be honest with your boss.


The job you have now is the one paying your wages, so while your coursework should be a priority, be mindful and respectful of your boss. Communicate important study dates and holidays, and it may even be worthwhile seeing if you can change your work hours so that you're operating to the best of your ability.

5. Set up new boundaries with your family and work.

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Make sure everyone knows your study hours. That way your boss isn't calling you in the middle of your classes, and your SO isn't frantic that you haven't come home by 9 p.m. on a Thursday night. Otherwise you're going to be constantly interrupted when you're just trying to study.

6. Plan a budget and stick to it.


If you're a clever bugger and you're taking a degree that will advance you in your field, you may be able to get your current employer to subsidise your course fees. Otherwise it's time to set a budget. You may not have to pay your course fees right away (yayyy HECS!) but the cost of study supplies can definitely stack up.

7. Make new friends in your course.


Having someone you can lean on in your course is SUPER beneficial for your mental health. Just like you, they're most likely working full-time, and having someone who understands exactly what you're going through, and who can answer all your coursework questions, is a must.

8. Schedule some "me time" for yourself as often as you can.


No matter how hectic your life gets, make sure to schedule some time for yourself every day. Set aside a portion of your day that isn't for chores, where you can focus on yourself and not worry about uni or work. Even if you only manage to get 10 minutes, that's still valuable time that you can use to check in on yourself.

9. And make an effort to catch up with your friends and family.


Yes, I did say that you may have to sacrifice a night out occasionally, but that doesn't mean your social life has to disappear. Schedule in your social engagements like you would work and study, so that you can make sure you're getting a break and that you still have time for fun.

10. Buy a planner or make use of an online calendar.


Whatever format you prefer, make sure you have your calendar readily available and that you stick to it. Make sure to schedule in your studying, classes, work, social outings and alone time. That way you can see exactly what is going on and adjust if need be.

11. Consider studying online to save yourself some time and scheduling conflicts.

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With an online course, you have the option to upskill from home, especially if it's in an area that you've already studied in. Online study can have a lot of benefits, from cutting down on travel time to saving money. Just make sure to do your research before committing!

12. Let your passions takeover for once.

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The best thing about going back to study something that you're passionate about, is that it can often be the inspiration you needed to go and follow your dreams. And if you're studying a practical course, you're more than likely to have half a novel, theory or business plan by the end of it.

13. Find out what motivates you and let it drive you.

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Motivation is the hardest part of upskilling, especially when you've just come home after a long day on the job. Figure out exactly what will get your butt to stay in that chair and stick to it. It could even be something simple like rewarding yourself with your favourite snack after each reading.

14. Remind yourself of your goals.

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Sometimes upskilling while working full-time can be stressful. One way to handle it all is to remind yourself exactly why you signed up for it. Remind yourself about what doors your course will open for you, and get back to the grind.

15. And finally, let yourself off the hook every now and again.


Life gets in the way of everything we do, there's just no getting around it. It's completely okay to miss a class because you feel like you're too run down. It's all about balance, so if you've had a ridiculously heavy week at work and you feel completely run down, maybe give yourself a pass. Just check the attendance rules for your course first.


It’s adulting week at BuzzFeed Oz! We’re celebrating everything it means to be an adult in 2019 — and discussing how to be a better one. Click here to check out more.