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Monday, January 9, 2012

Juggling between work and school

The schooling wave has hit the streets. A keen observation in the evenings in the main cities and towns reveal a heightened flow of traffic from the educational institutions, an indication that Kenyans have conspired to go back to school. And they have gone back in droves. And the motivation for getting back to the classroom is as varied as the working students. As we draw towards the end of the year and the start of another, many workers are bound to make resolutions to head back to class or to complete studies abandoned mid-way through. However, as we make those great schooling considerations, it is necessary to consider a few thoughts from those who have gone through the path.
It is important to ask ourselves the simple ‘why’ question. Why are you considering going back to school? What is the push or what is the pull? What motivates you to become a student after those years and is the motivation internal or external? Internal motivation could be factors like a desire to become great in your area of specialization or a push to meet your well-articulated personal goals. The motivation could also be external in which you find yourself seeking to study so that you are not ‘left behind’ by your peers or seeking to impress your significant others.

Whatever the motivation, for a working adult, who may have been out of school over the last couple of years, just a reminder that schooling is no joke. It is a hard and serious engagement that requires commitment from start to end. For a working student, it is a challenge since you will have to make time either in the evenings or over the weekends to get to class and other associated engagements like the group work to complete assignments and projects. 

This means denying yourself time to relax after work or the weekends to join your family and friends for social events. This can wear out even the strongest of the persons. Having pressure at work and pressure at school in addition to the pressure at home can easily tear someone apart. Only the strong and daring consider engagements. And I hear some of you say, yeah, it’s not easy.

Being a working student is never a ticket for getting to work late or leaving early. It is rarely a consideration when job roles are worked out hence the worker needs to find mechanisms to ensure he develops a schedule with the other team members to ensure they give the best to their jobs even as they pursue their studies. Rapport with your boss and team mates is critical. Increasingly, many employers are providing for flexible working hours where such persons can report early to work and leave slightly earlier to be in time for their evening classes. This flexibility however requires great discipline since you will have slept relatively late and yet have to be among the first to report to work.

Finally, as much as it depends on you, seek to pursue your studies or your project in a line not so far removed from your daily engagements. Spreading yourself so much could be detrimental to your mental and physical health. In case you must undertake a research project, consider one along your daily work so that you won’t have to move out of your path to complete the task.

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