Taking Night Classes: 7 Tips to Excel
Taking night classes in college can be a little more challenging than your average schedule. On the other hand, many of you might find yourself more productive during the later hours. Regardless which camp you’re in, you need a special set of skills to make the most of your time taking night classes. In the following article, we’ll be going over some of our favorite tips for helping you find success. Class is now in session!
1. Stick to a Schedule
It’s important to stick to a schedule because it helps you build a rhythm when it comes to your personal and professional life. Making a schedule and sticking to it will help you to become more productive because you’ll be able to build in regular habits and a routine.
It’ll also help you to become more organized and efficient because you’ll have a plan for your day. You might think that you don’t need to keep a schedule because it makes everything more predictable and boring. But having one night class will quickly teach you differently.
Night classes typically are not offered as frequently as day classes. As a result, you might end up going to class only once per week for an extended period of time (like 2 or 3 hours) rather than 2-3 times per week for 60-90 minutes a pop. Such infrequency can throw a monkey wrench into your routine. So, it’s important to sit down at the start of the week and create a schedule that you can stick to so the abrupt departure doesn’t throw off your week.
2. Maintain Control of Your Sleep
Sleep is just as important for college students as it is for little kids or high school students. However, you might find that there are more demands on your life and less time to squeeze it all in. A three-hour class right in the middle of the week can make it difficult to maintain consistency as these demands pile up.
Look at your schedule frequently. Make sure that none of your obligations are sneaking up on you. Adjust your sleep schedule along with it, so you can be certain you’re prepared for the day when night classes hit. Few things are harder than trying to tough out a marathon class session at night when you’ve missed too much sleep during the week. It makes it difficult to focus and manage your assignments.
3. Manage Those Deadlines
Deadlines are important to follow, especially when you have night classes, because of the sense of disruption that they bring to your week. That disruption can affect every other class that you have, any part-time job that you might be having to work, and all of your social relationships outside of class.
On the first night of night classes, closely examine the class syllabus. Pay attention to the nights when exams are planned. Note the due dates of any special assignments or projects. From there, build a plan for what you must have accomplished by each class meeting. Night classes are too often out-of-sight, out-of-mind, so this exercise will ensure that you aren’t falling behind.
4. Know Where You Stand
Something else you should be tracking with your night classes if you hope to succeed are grades. You don’t have quite as many opportunities to head problems off at the pass between lectures and other classes. This is particularly true if you’re keeping a full-time course load.
Having knowledge of what your grades are, as well as what each project or assignment is worth, will allow you to make special arrangements as needed. You can start scheduling times to conference with your professor between class meetings to get extra help or insight that can help you through the things you don’t understand.
5. Make the Most of Daytime Hours
If you’re taking classes at night, you might not get to class until around 6 or 7PM, depending on the class, and then there are studying sessions or group work that could go until 10 or 11PM. At night, you are forced to deal with the most serious of responsibilities, like work and school.
A lot of people get tripped up with night classes because they forget that they still have to work or study during the day. You have to make the most of your daytime hours if you want to get the most out of your night class. You can do this by trying to schedule no other classes or obligations or work for the daytime hours. Get up early (or sleep in) and use that extra time to your advantage on the day of the class. Perhaps consider meeting with your study group that day instead of other times in the week.
6. Start or Join a Study Group
On that topic, a study group will keep you accountable. It will ensure that the only time you’re thinking about your night classes isn’t on the day of. Study groups can ensure that you’re carrying the weight of the class from day-to-day instead of allowing it to pile up all at once.
7. Make Time for Your Night Class Every Day
There are many advantages to making time for your night class every day. Keeping it fresh in your mind means that you don’t fall behind on assignments. It also ensures that you are able to support your fellow class members on group projects better. Additionally, you can have a feeling of accomplishment that comes from knowing you’re not forgetting important responsibilities. And you can find extra time for your other classes and responsibilities as well!
Taking Night Classes Requires Some Adjustments
Taking night classes might require a few adjustments if you’re not used to taking them due to the longer class length and the fewer meeting times each week. But with some careful planning, scheduling, and incorporating the class in your daily life, it can be a rewarding experience and even a welcome break from the monotony of the rest of your week.
Consider taking night classes if you haven’t yet. And if you have, what are some techniques that have worked well for you? Share in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Wikimedia Commons]