Can I Take Online Classes with a Busy Schedule?

In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of completing online classes while working a full-time job with a demanding schedule. The participants share their experiences and offer advice, cautioning about the potential challenges and risks. It is suggested to carefully consider the specific requirements of the online courses and to not budget time too tightly. The importance of being adaptable and willing to adjust if necessary is also emphasized.
  • #1
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May be a dumb question, but I know very little about online classes. My main question is, and I assume it does vary depending on a number of factors, but in general, is it possible to complete online classes while working a full time job with sometimes up to 80 hours a week or more. For example, in any given day, I may work from 5 am to 9 or 10 pm, and there's no way I could attend some sort of scheduled online lecture or discussion at say, 7pm. I also work every other weekend on average, and work out of town, which means always on the road, and sometimes staying in hotels which may not have the best internet connection.

Bottom line, are online classes, in general, set up in such a way that I could do them at my on pace, as long as I meet the deadline for assignments?
 
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  • #2
You actualy have very little time to rest enough to take any kind of lessons with good results.
I was working 70-hour weeks in construction for three years and during that time my brain only dreamed about going to slep.
 
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  • #3
A friend was working 60 hours and was a full time college student (minimum credit load, but enough to be full time). He burned out after a couple years, and took a year off where he moved to his parent's cottage up north and did absolutely nothing for that year. Then he came back with a more sane schedule.

Another friend was working 50-60 hours while a full time student, plus was very active in a local gun club. He did not burn out.

I started dating my wife during a bad semester where things piled up and my average work week was 100 hours. I do not remember how I did that, but we have been married 28 years, so must have done something right.

Take a class and try. Worst case is you will have to drop it or will burn out. Either case is survivable.
 
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  • #4
Lnewqban said:
You actualy have very little time to rest enough to take any kind of lessons with good results.
I was working 70-hour weeks in construction for three years and during that time my brain only dreamed about going to slep.

Well, I don't work that much every week, but in any given week, it's possible. There's no set schedule really, just whatever needs doing gets done, and it's impossible to make any kind of plans or guarantee I can attend anything.
 
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  • #5
First, I think you need to look at the specifics of the online course(s) you're interested in. Figure out what the specific commitment is going to be. Online courses vary - some being more-or-less lectures that you attend via Zoom, others being more a set of assignments that you work through in your own time. It sounds like your schedule is more amenable to the latter, but not the former.

Consider how much of a general time commitment it's going to be as well. One rule of thumb is 3 hours outside of class for every hour in lecture, so that's roughly a twelve hour commitment for each course you enroll in, but of course, your mileage may vary. One of the big challenges with STEM courses is that they're usually problem-based and that means that sometimes if the problems are straight-forward, you breeze through them, but often you run into a challenge and all your other commitments get backed up until you figure it out.

Finally, be careful about budgeting things too tightly. Lots of people start out with good intentions, but you never know what curve balls life has coming your way. If you time your schedule to the minute each week, there's not much room to adapt when you get sick, your car breaks down, your computer dies, your significant other breaks up with you, etc.
 
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  • #6
JLowe said:
Well, I don't work that much every week, but in any given week, it's possible. There's no set schedule really, just whatever needs doing gets done, and it's impossible to make any kind of plans or guarantee I can attend anything.
In that case, you will have weeks with more available time and mental energy to give it a try.
I second other's posts above.
We always are able of more than what our minds want us to believe.
 
  • #7
Choppy said:
Finally, be careful about budgeting things too tightly. Lots of people start out with good intentions, but you never know what curve balls life has coming your way. If you time your schedule to the minute each week, there's not much room to adapt when you get sick, your car breaks down, your computer dies, your significant other breaks up with you, etc.

Well, one advantage I have is virtually no commitments outside of work, so I don't think finding the overall time I need each week will be a problem. I'm more worried about needing to be present or online at a specific time that I would essentially never be able to guarantee.

Based on the replies so far, seems like it's possible but won't be easy, but I assumed that from the beginning. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, although it's also true that some things are not worth doing to begin with.
 
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  • #8
Choppy said:
your significant other breaks up with you

At 80+ hours a week this may have already happened, but the OP just hasn't had time to notice.

This plan seems aggressive. Try it, but go slow and be prepared to back off if it is too much.
 
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  • #9
Vanadium 50 said:
At 80+ hours a week this may have already happened, but the OP just hasn't had time to notice.

Well, I get paid by the hour so she wouldn't go anywhere as long as she still had my credit cards.
 
  • #10
Be sure you make the proper distinction between possible and probable. This does not sound like a good idea to me.
 

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