Getting Into the Groove of School

Edmonds Community College’s Spring Term began on April 7, 2014. I was as ready as I would ever be. The commute from Seattle on my first day took all of about 15 minutes once I merged onto I-5 North. It has remained constant each day in the past four weeks and has not been an issue. Again you should plan your class schedule according to your commute and personal needs. Unless something changes this will likely be the last mention of this pleasant and wonderful reverse commute.

I am currently enrolled in four classes. Most of my classmates I’ve spoken to seem to be taking one, two or three classes. I felt I could handle four classes as I had done so in the past. Plus I have a set time frame to complete my chosen program and I want to stay on target. Also it is confidence in myself that really makes this a non issue. I recommend taking as many courses as you can handle, or to finish within your set timeframe for the career path you have chosen.

The first day in each class was seemingly typical. Roll call, syllabi review, expectations, and course introductions. I knew that all my courses would have assignments the first week so that wasn’t a surprise and something that I was actually prepared for. I was eager to get started with the chapter readings for each of my courses. I would get my wish. Although one of my goals for getting my books ahead of time was so that I could start reading the first chapters, it just didn’t happen.

It didn’t take long for each class to get going pretty quickly. I soon found myself inundated the second week with multiple assignments that were due back to back to back. Also the Easter Holiday weekend was looming and I wouldn’t have that weekend for much studying. It was completely overwhelming at first but then I simply became determined to better prioritized my time. I forced myself to set priorities as to what I needed to work on first. I made a clear list of due dates that were coming for Week 2 and 3. I then began to methodically knock out each assignment or chapter that I needed to complete. Since I was taking classes Monday through Thursday only, I already knew I would have at least an entire day each Friday to work on school assignments. For me this has been the crucible of staying on top of and ahead of my work load. If you can plan your schedule accordingly and not have to use that day for other commitments, then it will be a great way to perhaps free up other time that you can spend elsewhere. I ensured also that I would not be bothered by outside influences by making it clear that I would need to be studying. This may be difficult especially with family, but it was necessary. I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but all of my classes currently end before Noon with one flexible exception. So I also use the afternoons after my daily classes to work on and complete my class assignment as they become assigned. I put in a lot of hours to ensure I met all deadlines. Fortunately a number of assignments were related to one specific class and once those were completed I have found that the my workload evened out some and my schedule for study time is now working quite well. By Week 3 it was definitely clear that managing my time for studying was well worth the effort and making it a priority reflects in my current grades.

Everyone will have a different experience and from speaking with classmates I seem to be extremely lucky to be able to focus solely on school. My organization skills have definitely been noticed by my classmates and I have shared with them the things I do to stay on top of my work load. Some of course have other obligations but any help I am able to offer is gladly given. I know some of my classmates have adopted use of the ‘calendar’ style day planner which I learned many years ago at a previous job. I seemingly have also become the ‘go to guy’ for due dates and class assignments. As I go forward I will talk more about studying and some of the interactions I have made while at school. After all, we cant study all the time!

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