6 Tips for Succeeding as a Nontraditional Student

Balancing school and social life is a challenge for many nontraditional college students. The commitments involved in completing assignments, holding a full-time job, attending classes, and socializing can feel overwhelming. But if you use strategies designed specifically for nontraditional students, you will have taken the necessary measures to boost your chances of success in academia. Keep reading to know crucial points and tips to consider.

Control How Much Time You Spend on Activities

With a full-time job and attending classes, students must get the most out of every minute of the day. The best way to do that is for students to hone their time management skills. Start by first understanding what courses and subjects you should study to graduate by a certain time. Then create a good schedule that makes it easier to accomplish daily tasks without feeling overwhelmed at the end of the day.

To better manage your time, conduct a time audit to determine what utilizes your free time. Then reassign those hours to learning and doing assignments. Finally, ensure you have a program for the next day before going to bed. That way, when you wake up, you know what needs to get done and in what order.

Prioritize Wisely

Students struggling to comprehend specific course concepts often seek help from a subject expert. This habit is key to academic success. College students also buy assignment to understand a topic better or know how to answer a specific question and the best way to compose a high-scoring academic paper. The trick to having educational success as a nontraditional student is prioritizing academic workload.

Begin by doing assignments whose deadline is quickly approaching or studying for an exam that is only a few days away. Overall, eliminate things that don’t add value to your journey. Then, go further and create a to-do list to help prioritize important assignments and those that are urgent. This plan prevents you from taking on several tasks at the last minute, which affects the quality of work you hand in.

Break Big Goals Into Small Manageable Sizes

A nontraditional college student is often an older adult either returning to college or enrolling for the first time. Such students often have full-time jobs and a family, so they have less time, creating room to put off things. 

Procrastinating causes the workload to pile up and eventually overwhelm you. However, dividing large goals into smaller parts create momentum and keeps you motivated. Dividing a bigger goal also helps with prioritization and boosts productivity. 

Besides, looking at a goal from a big picture perspective makes you realize that a lot still needs to be done, and time may not be on your side, which can leave you stressed. But if you chunk down tasks by size or quantity, they become more manageable. For example, if you have a 20-page assignment, tackle one chapter at a time instead of doing it in a day and complete a few pages each day.

Utilize All Available Resources

As a nontraditional student, you have a higher chance of getting less stressed with the academic workload if you work smarter. Take advantage of the student resources at your disposal. These include recreational facilities and counseling centers to keep your health in check. 

The library, professors, and tutors are also a great option for better understanding your course. Additionally, even if you are taking the course virtually, you can still form a study group or ask a classmate to help you study.

Explore Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities

Nontraditional students often enroll in college later on because of financial challenges. Financial responsibilities, including rent and other expenses, further make the cost of higher education a big challenge. 

Since financial concerns are more significant for a nontraditional student with children, it’s best to find an affordable school option. Go for those that provide financial support specifically to nontraditional learners, apply for scholarships or ask your employer if they give tuition assistance to employees.

Sharpen Your Study Technique

Reading textbooks and notes over and over with the hopes of memorizing is not an effective study method. If you use this method, the information ends up in short-term memory, and during exams, you won’t be able to recall most of it. Likewise, studying one subject for a long time, reviewing a single topic repeatedly, and cramming are some ineffective study techniques.

On the other hand, the SQ3R, self-quizzing, spaced, and retrieval practices are some techniques that have been proven to increase learning outcomes. Feynman and Pomodoro are other efficient methods of learning concepts quickly.