My advice to getting back on track after a break from your studies
In this blog, Areeha shares tips to navigating your academic journey after taking a study break.
Pursuing a master’s degree after a long break can certainly be difficult. Whilst the thought of achieving another set of goals can be exciting and rewarding, the reality is that any goal is only attained by putting yourself through a rigorous challenge. This is particularly true when you have to manage a full-time job along with your studies. However, with determination, discipline and a positive outlook, it is possible to achieve any goal.
I am currently pursuing a master’s in Professional Accountancy from the University of London through its Distance Learning programme. The journey itself has been rewarding yet challenging. The following strategies really helped me to stay on-track and focused.
1. Be consistent
It is necessary to look at your study materials and your online modules daily, or on a frequent basis. These small steps will ultimately help during your exams and coursework when the deadline is close, and a high volume of material needs to be covered to pass the module.
2. Have a plan
Studying after a long break is tough and pursuing an online qualification can be even more challenging. It is vital to have a schedule and planning out the day can ensure that you finish off a couple of chapters on a frequent basis and get closer to your goals. Furthermore, having a plan allows you time for other activities and can help to establish a productive learning routine.
One of the best ways to stay connected with the programme is to keep in touch with your peers, for example by creating WhatsApp groups. This way, you are notified of all the latest updates and have the opportunity to obtain guidance and advice on studying your programme in an effective manner.
4. Discuss with your colleagues and friends
For coursework that involved researching my organisation, having the support of my colleagues was vital for me. There were instances where I had to write about a topic where a colleague was already researching that subject and this provided a great start on the resources I was able to access for my coursework. Moreover, my family ensured that I was able to keep a check on myself and encouraged me to stay focused on my studies when I was not entirely on my schedule.
5. Reflect on what you have learned
My job allowed me to stay motivated but also implement the key ideas from my studies. A wide number of university courses also focus upon the skill-sets that can be obtained by studying the course, such as critical thinking or analytical skills. It is important to use these skills during your work and be aware that you are gaining transferable skills and not just a qualification on a piece of paper.
Lastly, always look at the bigger picture! There will come a time when you realise that all the hard work was worth it. The important factor is to ensure that you enjoy and make the most of your university experience.
Areeha is studying MSc Professional Accountancy in Pakistan.