Whether you are just coming out of school or returning to studies after a break, you have to make the decision if you are going to undertake it as a full time or part time endeavor. For most students coming from school, still set in the discipline of studying and being dependent on their parents it is an almost natural process to evolve into full time tertiary education. For those students whose parents cannot afford it, or students who take a break after school to work or travel, or your more mature adults returning to studies the economic reality forces them to become part time students. Very few companies will support an employee to study full time even if it is to the benefit of the company.
As with a lot of other things in life maturity does bring along many benefits when you are a student – a mature student will not fall around with courses and party until the wee hours of the night. Mature students have identified the reason they want to study whether it is to obtain the elusive qualification, update their skills, changing the direction their career is currently taking them or furthering their interest. Whatever the case might be, they are highly motivated to achieve this goal, and enjoy studying in contrast to the younger students who might interpret it as a task that has to be completed.
Some of the difficulties experienced by part time mature students are that they struggle to mix with the young ones – sometimes the age of their own children. Because they are so highly motivated they tend to put too much pressure on themselves to achieve which can lead to burnout, when you combine it with their hectic family lives and full time occupations. In contrast your full time students tend to be more interactive with the faculty members, their peers and the subject matter.
It is important that the mature students investigate the on-campus services available to them. There might be childcare facilities that might lessen their load of traveling to further destination to drop off children in the mornings or afternoons. Most campusses have financial services available to students in need, it can be beneficial to discuss financial matters with them. Campusses nowadays have most shops and service providers on their doorstep – so it would be beneficial and time saving to do errands if off period rather than having a caffeine boost. If you they have been out of the study loop for a while a short course in the latest technology used in the university setting might empower them and make them more effective students , as well as a library tour. Talking to their lecturers as soon as they experience problems and joining a student mentoring program will help getting them comfortable with the study material. It is of utmost importance to use time effectively and be organized.
Building a campus network involves attending at least some orientation activities, especially those ones involving their specific subject matter. These activities will probably come naturally to the full time students and will be thoroughly pursued as social events by them. This will be an opportunity to the part time students to meet other older students, who should be seeked out actively. Most universities have certain services, for examples lounges, for mature students. Mature students should attempt to form a support network and each find a “study buddy”.
Dealing with the family might be another story. It is important for the part time student to communicate effectively to his family why these studies are so important to him and how it might benefit all of them in the future. The family members should be allowed to voice all the concerns and talk them out. The student should ask for respect for his at home study time – during this time the family are not allowed to bother him unless in the case of a real emergency. It would be good if the study timetable could be available for everybody to see – for example on a door or the fridge, then everyone knows when the student will be available and the feeling of disconnectedness are diminished. There should be a restructuring of tasks in the house in a effort to show support to the student and also be able to spend more time with him.. The student must realize that at times he will have to say no, not to hurt anyone’s feelings, but to do what is right for him.
If you are a part time student, you have to take care of your self in the following manner: You have to expect that there will be an adjustment phase. Adjustment takes time and is uncomfortable. It is very easy to give up during this phase. You have to be patient with yourself – you have not studies for a while, therefore you might be rusty. It will take time to get into the routine again. Only foster realistic academic expectations for yourself. If you never achieved an A at school do not expect an A+ now. You will be stressed, that is normal, do not let stress make you question your commitment to your studies. Most import reward yourself every step of the way. You are braver than many employees out there and on the road to self actualization.
Full time students will probably be living on campus or have moved out of the house they shared with their parents in order to obtain more independence. They will therefore have less family matters to dwell upon, but also a high adjustments curve in terms of fending for themselves and running their own household and motivate themselves to study.
In conclusion, the advantages of part time studies are that the employee maintains a salary and his employment rights, and he keeps in touch with the market place. The biggest draw backs are the time it takes to complete your studies, the additional stress it adds to the individuals life and the fact that funding for part time studies are minimal. The full time student will finish his studies hopefully faster, stand a bigger chance to obtain a bursary, but will have no job experience when entering the market for the first time.