Last week, I began a series on 10 Good Study Habits. As I wrote last week, good study habits are important in an online learning environment.
This week, I want to continue with a look at managing your resources and priorities.
What do I mean by resources? Well, money comes to mind. Many of us use Student Loans to help pay for college. Are we using those funds for our educational expenses? Or are we using it for other things?
I remember times when I received my student loan funds at the beginning of the semester, and instead of setting aside the money I needed for textbooks and other things for the entire semester, I spent it on a new toy, or CDs or who-knows-what. Then when my second or third class started a month or so later, I had to scrape up the money for my textbooks from somewhere else. I learned that I need to look ahead and plan for my upcoming expenses.
How about our priorities? Is time for study a priority, or are we squeezing it in around other things? If you have been in any of my classes, you have probably heard me talk about how we may have to give something up to make time for school.
If you are like most online students, you are very busy with work, family, and other things. When it comes to setting priorities, school may be third, fourth, or even fifth on the list. The key is to take a look at that list and examine your priorities.
For instance, I hear from many students that they struggle with time management. In some cases, it is not a lack of time management skills that is the problem, but too many things on their to-do list. As I said, you probably have many priorities. Things like God, family, and work are always going to be at the top of your list. But is school on the list? Is it next? Or is it further down.
Perhaps you play on a softball team or participate in another extracurricular activity. If you struggle with too many things on your list, these are the types of things that you may have to set aside for a time. Is it more important to you to complete your education? Or participate on the softball team?
Now don’t hear what I didn’t say. I am not saying you should give up all your activities while you are in school. What I am saying is you need to examine your priorities and ensure they align with your values and goals. If you have too many things on your “To-Do” list, you may have to give some things up to set aside the 10 -12 hours you need for school.
Not too long ago, I was in Grad school completing my Master of Arts degree. It took a lot of time to read all the assignments and write my weekly discussion posts and papers. I found myself struggling to find the time I needed. After a few very stressful weeks of trying to squeeze it all in, I finally stopped and looked at all of my commitments. Was there something on my list that I could give up for a time while I completed my degree? Sure enough, there was.
You know I love to teach. I teach several classes at three different institutions. But on top of that, I was also teaching an adult Sunday school class at my church. It took quite a bit of time to prepare for class each week. I loved teaching the class, but what I found was because I was so crunched for time, I was not preparing as well as I should have. I was cheating the people in my class because I was not giving it my best.
After a bit of thought and reflection, I decided it was best if I give up teaching Sunday school for a while and put that time and energy into my studies. You know what? When I explained to everyone why I was giving up teaching Sunday School, everyone was very supportive.
That decision allowed me to devote more time to my studies, and after graduation, I felt even more prepared to teach Sunday school.
So, I want to leave you with this to consider. Are you being wise with your money? Are you planning and preparing for your upcoming expenses for school? Are you taking a hard look at your list of priorities to ensure you have the time necessary for your studies? Is there something you can set aside for a time in order to accomplish your educational goals?
Let me know what you think and leave a comment below?
Next week, we will continue this discussion with a look at motivation and enthusiasm about your studies.