WORK-LIFE BALANCE / NOV. 07, 2014
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How to Attend Night Classes while Employed

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Everyone’s so busy these days, one wonders whether they can squeeze out some extra time to engage in other activities. This is the dilemma that the employed face everyday particularly when it comes to boosting academic credentials through vocational courses. Yes, they do want to attend classes but their day’s schedule is totally booked. This means that the only option available for them is to attend night classes. And though it might seem convenient to attend these kind of classes, it’s not as easy as it sounds. That’s because there are serious risks involved in attending night classes. These include:

  • Insecurity - This is quite an obvious risk. We know the security risks involved in our own individual capacities. A neighbourhood I know, for instance, has a 10 pm. curfew imposed on tenants for the sake of their safety. Security risks upon individuals include (but are not limited to) kidnappings, car jackings, rape, robbery with assault and even murder. 
  • Lack of Punctuality - Vocational courses can be quite costly, so it’s in your best interest to attend ALL classes on time. However, this can be quite a hurdle particularly for those living in big cities where evening traffic jams are the norm.
  • Stress & Fatigue - Those that have a flexible working schedule are lucky. On the other hand, those that are engaged in 9 to 5 jobs are likely to experience stress and fatigue. Besides work related concerns, there are also external factors. Like we mentioned earlier, there’s the traffic, then you’ll have to head to the store to buy groceries, go home, cook, supervise the kids... AND STILL attend night class. At the end of the day you’ll definitely be stressed and fatigued because tomorrow, the cycle repeats itself. Again, this is all dependent on individual situations.
  • Neglect of Studies - Some might find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. Besides night classes, there’s also study time. So you might have to multi-task as you study. Moreover, there will be distractions in the house especially if you’ve got a family. End result - you neglect your studies and perform poorly in exams. This means...
  • Costly Retakes - Colleges are in business ladies and gentlemen. So let’s not patronize these institutions like they’re charitable organizations pursuing a worthy cause. Having said that, don’t expect them to hesitate giving you retakes. Trust me, they wouldn’t mind having you for another semester as long as the ’dough’ keeps coming.
  • Neglect of Personal Duties - For others, academic excellence might prove to be costly in personal affairs. From personal etiquette to house chores, these personal matters require ample time that can potentially be taken over by the vocational course. 
  • Emotional and Psychological Disintegration - Ultimately, extreme preoccupation in daily affairs can potentially affect your emotional and psychological well being. While some might become socially withdrawal, the stress might tempt one to resort in drug abuse and so forth. There’s also the aspect of irrational behaviour particularly when the pressure is too much to bear.

How then does one Attend Night Classes while Employed?

 

#1 Inform your Company to Formulate a Work Time Compensation Strategy


Companies love to save on labour costs. One of the ways they do this is to offer incentives to workers that pursue vocational courses. This would be the perfect opportunity for you to maximize on such incentives especially if they include sponsorships. If that’s the case then, I’m sure your company understands your personal dilemma and has a work time compensation policy. This might mean working longer hours on weekends just to compensate for borrowed time during the week. Others might prefer changing their shift in order to make their night class attendance convenient. Unfortunately, not all companies offer such privileges to their workers. If that’s the case, then another alternative would be to...

#2 Seek for Help in Personal Duties and Work Affairs


I can’t emphasize enough the need to maximize on favours from friends and work colleagues. If someone owes you a favour, then this would be an added advantage. At times, some colleagues might cover for us at work, with a compensation package of course. Friends can also buy groceries for us, or do some chores just to ease our personal burden. It would also be a big plus if a friend attends the same classes. This means that you’ll never miss on any key lessons or notes for that matter. Plus, you’ll have a companion that can coach you on concepts that you haven’t yet understood.

#3 Seek out College that Best suits your Personal Dilemma


This takes us back to square one - selecting a college that suits you best. We all aspire for quality education. But for some of us, the price might be too much to bear. And I’m not talking about money. Instead, I’m referring to the convenience that comes with different colleges. Yes, you might want to attend classes in the best college, yet it might actually be in the central business district where traffic can be hell in the evening. For others, it might be a college that compensates for missed classes, especially if absenteeism is likely to happen. These are just but some of the parameters you should consider before joining any college or university for that matter.

For some people, a day is too long while for others, 24 hrs are just not enough. The bottom line for both situations is that time waits for no man. So if you attend night classes, you’ll definitely be busy. You’ll therefore want to organize your time wisely to ensure that none is wasted. As South African icon Nelson Mandela once said, "We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right."

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