By Leanne Aira Villanueva
I call myself a “night student” because I attend classes during the evening, typically after regular business hours. Classes can start as early as 5 PM and end as late as 9 PM at Teachers College. It is a unique and challenging experience. However, it gives the flexibility to do other commitments such as work or personal obligations.
Many graduate students already have part-time or full-time roles and work during the day, so attending classes at night allows them to better balance their education and career.
While this type of schedule can bring convenience and flexibility, balancing work, life, and school, especially for those who may have a family to tend to, can be challenging. Graduate students may need to make sacrifices or changes in their routines. For instance, they may sacrifice changes to their sleep schedule to attend classes and complete their assignments and readings late at night. While night students may miss out on social events that occur during the day, Teachers College recognizes that many students work during the day and go to class after. Hence, there are still several events that occur after business hours to allow them to have the opportunity to engage and mingle within the overall Teachers College community.
Despite the challenges, being a night student can be a rewarding experience for those who are committed to their education. Graduate students can still engage in the courses they are registered for, develop relationships, and work closely with instructors and classmates.
To succeed, it is vital to establish a routine that balances academic pursuits with other responsibilities while also taking care of yourself. Many graduate students utilize Google Calendar and planners to create a well-organized schedule and assist them with tracking their tasks and assignments due for their professional, academic, and personal lives. There are also many resources, such as tutoring services and writing centers, that graduate students can utilize if they need additional support to succeed.
With dedication and hard work, being a night student offers flexibility for many graduate students with jobs. There are many resources and a community of other night students that serve as another support network, which can assist them in reaching their academic goals and graduating.