If you’ve decided you want to study, there are many different options available to you today; for example, you can study online or at a bricks-and-mortar university and you can choose between studying part-time or full-time. The part-time option may appeal to you most if you have children or you need to work while studying. However, part-time study does not work for everyone, because there are a number of drawbacks.
If you’re studying full-time, you should be able to keep your mind on your course and make sure you meet deadlines. However, if you are part-time, you will have plenty of distractions. You will need to fit assignments around your family life and your job and concentrating on the course could prove to be difficult. Snatching a couple of hours here and there is not the best way to study, but you may have no choice but to do that. You may also find that your family and boss are not very understanding about your course and don’t give you the support that you need.
Studying and working at the same time may prove to be too much for you, particularly if you are trying to hold down a full-time job. If you have a couple of evening classes a week, then have to study the other evenings, finding time to relax and enjoy yourself could be impossible. Over time, you may find yourself becoming exceptionally stressed and irritable with everyone. If it finally becomes too much, you may either not perform as well as you should, or you may even decide to drop out until you have enough money to study full-time.
Loss of interest
Concentrating on a subject all the time enables you to really get to grips with it and ensure that you keep your long-term goals in mind. However, if you are constantly being distracted by other things, you may eventually find that you lose interest in your course and can’t reawaken it. This could particularly be the case if you don’t have a set time-frame in mind and it doesn’t really matter when you finish. The temptation to take a few months off and return to studying after a break may be great, but you then run the risk of not returning at all.
Long time to complete
There are different ways of studying part-time. If you have chosen an option that allows you to take courses as and when your job’s workload permits, you could find that it takes several years to complete your course. Even worse, you may lose interest and have a long break in the middle, or you may fail exams because you are not able to fully concentrate on revision and therefore have to re-take. That may not be a problem if you are young, but the older you become, the sooner you will want to finish your course and use the qualification to get a better job.
No sense of belonging
Studying part-time will almost certainly mean that you don’t feel like you are part of the class in the same way that you would if you are studying full-time. If your course is online, you may not get to know your class-mates at all. If your main aim is to get a qualification and move on, that may not be an issue, but in general, a sense of belonging will encourage you to work harder. Support from class-mates could also help spur you on in your studies, but of course, if you barely know them, this is unlikely to happen.
Less support from professors
It goes without saying that if you see your professors on a daily or weekly basis, they will know exactly who you are and will be more willing to give you plenty of support. If they only see or hear from you occasionally, they are likely to concentrate on the students who are more visible and ask for their help on a regular basis. As a part-time student, your professors may consider you to be less interested in the course and, while they hopefully won’t treat you with disdain, they could make you feel far less welcome than you deserve.
Deciding whether to study full-time or part-time is a personal choice. It may be the right one for you, but it is necessary to weigh up the pros and cons before making a final decision.