always been a tough task but
when it comes to learning
while working, it’s really like
walking on a tight rope. And the situation may be worse if you are returning to
your studies after a gap and also have a
family to look after.
This I realised only lately when a
friend of mine, who’s a call centre trainer, decided to do his MBA. Because of
work his timings, he managed to get
admission in the morning shift of a local
business studies institute. There he sat
with a group of non-serious students of
around 25 years of age. Hoping to get
some individual attention from his teachers when resuming his studies after such
a long time, he was given none whatsoever. Failing to understand his needs, the
teachers treated him just like any other
Another hurdle in his pursuing a
decent education was his family’s
demands. They just wouldn’t let him
study in peace. Thus, completing assignments on time became close to
impossible but when he approached his class fellows in the hope of
getting some guidance from them, they were either partying with others
their own age or were
running out of mobile phone batteries or
balance to speak to him.
And then just before the examinations, came the notification that he was
not eligible to sit for exams because of
his low attendance during classes. It was
an uphill task, making the management
understand his problems. Finally, when
he was allowed to take the exam, the
result was quite predictable. My friend
quit his studies.
Many people at different stages of
their life have been known to go back to
their studies in order to cope with the
changing and challenging demands of
their respective professions. They may
be upgrading their knowledge to find a
better job, get a raise or secure a good
job along with their future.
However, studying while holding
down a job has never been easy. There
are a number of obstacles lying in your
First of all, there is the difference
between you and your fellow students.
This may not just be a gap in age but a
difference in the conscious level. The
other students may not have entered
their practical life as yet and thus, being
slightly less mature, they may be at a different cognitive level althogether, which
would lead to your feeling like a lonely
Second, if the teachers don’t realise
the cognitive differences, they may,
although unintentionally, end up hurting
you emotionally. It adds fuel to fire if
your family too isn’t cooperative.
Office load, assignment preparation,
scarcity of quality time for education
accompanied by family routine demands
and sleeplessness are potential discouragements.
Mentally and physically, you are
always less vigilant or attentive than the
others students who only have their studies to worry about. Fatigue and tiredness
add to boredom, making you feel pressured.
It can be even worse if you are a
woman attending night school. The
evening timings may clash with a number of things including unavailability of
transport, household chores, socialising,
Although these tribulations may
sound acute and stern, you can take a
few simple measures to remedy the situation.
Your learning endeavours should be
well-planned. If possible, select a place
of study that is near your residence or
place of work to avoid transport problems. Also try and take your boss or
office management into confidence.
Meet the teachers at your place of
study and let them know of your other
responsibilities along with the purpose
and need for your studying further.
Talk to your family members also. Try
and prepare them mentally to themselves
learn how to cope with routine matters
and minor crises at home instead of coming to you for just about everything.
Maybe you could also try and find out
if any of your friends or colleagues plan
to enroll themselves in a similar programme either now or later on. You
could then coordinate with them and try
to join with them. And last but not least, make sure you
have enough leave accumulated before
entering a study programme just so you
can apply for leave before your examinations.