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Balancing Multiple Roles
- Use your time and energy wisely. Difficult choices will have to be made: daily chores often can wait, while studying cannot.
- Feeling guilty about the time you spend in classes and studying depletes energy. Believe that you and your goals have worth, and the people with whom you are close will believe that, too.
- Keep your dreams, but set realistic short-term objectives that don't overwhelm you.
- Be persistent. At times you may wonder what you are doing and why you are doing it. That's normal.
- Make friends with classmates. Start small study groups when appropriate. When you make the effort, perceived barriers can disappear and friendships can begin. Exchange phone numbers with classmates in case you can't attend class and need to know what went on.
- Develop a working relationship with advisors and professors supportive of your goals. While this takes time and effort, it is worth the time saved in meeting degree requirements and in obtaining future job references.
- Spend time with those who support your educational goals. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the demands of school, especially at finals time. A core of friends and family members who encourage you, can ease this stress.
- Join organizations that are connected with your major and whose members share similar interest. Participate in campus activities. Attend lectures and concerts. Make an effort to become a part of the university community in more ways than just attending classes.
- Remember that attending the university need not be all work. It is a time to explore ideas; to engage in philosophical discussions; to meet a diverse population of people whom you would otherwise probably never meet; to be exposed to some of the best dance, music, art, film and theater available; and to be in contact with lively, creative minds. There is a multitude of recreational opportunities. Take time to enjoy yourself!
- Get to know your librarian (each major has an assigned librarian/topic expert). Your librarian is a guide to the variety of information and tools available to folks in your field, and can direct you to references and guides that will save you valuable time.
- Try to plan class schedules to avoid crossing the campus several times a day.
- Remember that you are not the only one experiencing anxiety. Coming back to school requires many adjustments… on you, your family, and friends.
- Ask for help. Seek out resources and people who might be able to assist you.
- Ask questions. Anytime something doesn't make sense or is not clear, you have the right to ask questions. Asking questions will save you valuable time, energy and possibly money.
- Meet with an advisor or professor when you don't understand something. Ask for suggestions on how to improve your studying and grades. Remember professors are human.
- Meet and converse with your student peers, especially other Nontraditional students. They have some of the same concerns you have. You can learn from each other.
- Believe in yourself. As an adult learner you have special strengths to be successful: maturity, high motivation, diverse life skills, and a variety of life experiences.
- Be good to yourself. Reward yourself for persevering, for studying, for staying in school.
- Take good care of yourself. Eat, exercise, and rest appropriately. Staying physically and emotionally fit contributes to being successful in school.
- Adjust your lifestyle. Remember you cannot do everything that you did before you returned to school. Learn to be selective in what you agree to do. Allow others to share the responsibility.
- Remember transitions aren't easy. Becoming a student requires patience, purpose, persistence and a sense of humor.