When adults—especially moms and dads—think about going back to school, many see no way to squeeze college into their hectic routines. But it is possible—and we’re here with tips for success in online courses. Attending college online helps with that time crunch. Not having to commute to a campus saves adult students several hours per week. These stolen hours can then be applied to home study time. Truth is, the average working American has about 30 hours of free time per week. That’s right: 30 hours. The key is learning how to manage your time tightly.
If you have children, you’ll need to plan for their care when you return to college. For most working adults, the option of professional childcare is an expensive one. Moreover, most professional daycare centers are not open weekends or late at night, the times when most adults are in classes. Be creative when scouting for childcare options. Use these tips for success.
Appreciate your summers and use them wisely. Don’t let the system brainwash you into thinking that you need to do something this summer to get that internship next summer, which will lead to that other internship and then That Job. Travel to Japan or Patagonia, write a book, read, spend time with family, learn a new language or skill, follow things that interest you, that cliché but wise voice in your heart.
Perhaps you were class president in high school. Or perhaps you were a member of the honor society. You could have graduated in the top percentile of your graduating class; perhaps you were even valedictorian. Maybe your were in the honors program or the International Baccalaureate program. Actually, it doesn't really matter what you did in high school as you make the transition to college. High school success (or lack of it) doesn't automatically apply to college.
You don’t do that by going into your interview and talking about your views on symbolism in 1950s film noir. You do that by ensuring you gain practical experience while you’re a student, either by working part-time, or by doing an internship. Yes, part-time retail jobs teach important workplace skills, such as cash management, customer service, and inventory management. An internship can provide more “professional” experience related to your major. If you’ve held a job while working on your degree, or if you’ve done an internship, be sure to put those on your resume.
Do you know how many courses you can take at a time and still remain sane? Enroll part-time and find out. Plan on each course requiring about five hours of study time per week. Some courses, especially ones where you may need tutoring, can require up to seven hours of study time per week. If you plan to enroll in two courses, be prepared to put aside 10 to 14 hours of study time each week.
A truly great resume should highlight your achievements and immediately answer the hiring manager’s top-of-mind question: “Can this person solve my problem?” Not only should the education section of your resume be concise, but it should also relate to the job you are seeking. If you’re a recent graduate, you’ll need to put a bit more focus on your education section since you likely don’t have a lot of professional work world experience yet. You don’t want to include every single course you’ve ever taken, but you also don’t want to merely list your credentials.
Perhaps you were class president in high school. Or perhaps you were a member of the honor society. You could have graduated in the top percentile of your graduating class; perhaps you were even valedictorian. Maybe your were in the honors program or the International Baccalaureate program. Actually, it doesn't really matter what you did in high school as you make the transition to college. High school success (or lack of it) doesn't automatically apply to college.
For us onlooking or partaking upperclassmen, that feeling isn’t too distant. As a freshman, the sense of being lost in a big new world was exciting, but at the same time I treasured every bit of advice I could get. And there are still many things I wish I would have known then. Now that I’m a few years older, I thought I’d share some thoughts. More importantly, I went around and asked some of the most accomplished Penn students for what recommendations they’d give to freshmen.
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