One Down, Nine to Go


graduate school, textbooks, purdue university, master of science in communications, online communications programsI’ve successfully completed the first (of 10) courses toward an M.S. in Communication from Purdue. I’m not going to lie: Time management has been a challenge — less because of the burden of school work and more because of the demands of my job.I’m lucky that I was able to start this program on home leave and arrive to Jordan with a week and some change of not having to work right away so I could complete the bulk of a research-intensive paper and presentation. It also gave me a chance to familiarize myself with the online platform we use, Engage (Blackboard is the other big one), and get used to reading textbooks and academic articles again.My major challenge has been lack of a set routine when it comes to work, school, exercise and “free time” (whether that’s blogging, reading “for fun,” sleeping, etc.). I need to force myself to stick to a schedule as much as possible because otherwise I skew heavily toward one thing at the expense of others.One class down, nine to go! What are some time management tips you have to share?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

5 thoughts on “One Down, Nine to Go

  1. Good job! How long do you expect it will take to complete all coursework? I hate when I don’t have time for “fun reading.” Since I don’t work, I really have to stick with a strict schedule. I tend to procrastinate if I don’t have my schedule set in advance.


    1. Thanks, Jamie! I know exactly when I’ll be done, because the program is 10 eight-week courses in a row. It’s a 20-month program with a couple weeks off in December. Otherwise, one class ends on a Sunday and the next begins on Monday — through the rest of the year. So I’ll be done in April 2017. It seems so far away … 😉


  2. I’m taking an online class as well (first time ever) and it’s hard to stay focused. Routine and space are key for me. I schedule out on Sunday nights when I’m going to make time for the classwork (reading the material, checking in and contributing to the discussion board, doing the assignment, taking the quiz, etc.) and then try hard to hold myself to it. The weeks I plan ahead are the weeks I actually make it happen. 🙂 Also having a dedicated work space is key. We have the space now for me to have an office which really helps with being able to block out other distractions, but when it’s just me home alone, I’ve been known to take over the dining room table… 🙂 Good luck with your next class!


    1. Thanks! I agree, having a home office or other (non-dining-room-table) space is important for working. Sometimes I like to switch up my location for reading, since I sit at a desk 8+ hours a day at work already. Week one of my new class done, and so far so good. Are you taking classes toward a program or just stand-alone certification?


  3. It’s four course program for a certificate in editing through UC Berkeley Extension School. So far, it’s been really helpful, though completely embarrassing to realize some grammatical mistakes I’ve been making for years!


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