Being Productive While Commuting

Generally, it is not good for the eyes to read while on the road. Well, I beg to differ – most of the time we spend at least 30 minutes walking to get to our classes.

Thirty minutes can make a big difference in your learning experience. Here’s how to be productive while commuting –

  1. Listen to audio books, podcasts and class recordings – It has been proven that listening can significantly improve your knowledge base. It helps you discover the things you might have missed before.
  2. Always keep flash cards with you all the time – Flash cards are easy to read and it doesn’t even take 30 minutes to cover everything.
  3. List your priorities for the day – You can list on a piece of paper your itineraries for the day so that it is easier for you to stay on track.
  4. Proofread your papers – You can scan your papers and check for grammatical, spelling and sentence construction errors.
  5. Scan class notes – Reading while you are on the move is a big no-no thus it is better to scan your notes or probably take a peek on highlighted texts.
  6. Return calls and text messages – If you missed some calls and messages, the great time to respond or take a call is during your commute.

Finally, learning how to relax through breathing techniques while you are commuting is a great way to become productive.

Benefits of Trade School

We have touched on alternatives to traditional colleges before, and it is definitely worth another look. If you were raised like I was, your parents only advocated for college. Trade school was never a thought in their mind, and mine because of it. However, if you have struggled with traditional academic programs, you should think about trade school.

Benefits of Trade School

They teach you a trade. Instead of focusing on a broad range of academics, with a focus in one area, trade schools teach you one specific trade. Examples include accounting, cooking, dental assistance, medical billing, paralegal, HVAC, etc. Once you graduate from a radiology program, for example, you will be able to enter the workforce as a radiologist. If your trade needs a certification, the schools will arrange and prepare you for the test.

Trade school programs often have smaller classrooms, which gives you more one-on-one time with the professor. Your peers are also taking the same classes so you can easily form study groups. This can also help you build meaningful contacts to help your career.

Studies have also shown that employers show a preference for students with tech school diplomas because they already have the know-how and hands-on learning.

The best benefit of all, it’s quicker and cheaper. Graduating from college takes 4 years, on average, while trade school is much quicker. Some programs are only 6-10 weeks and some take 2-3 years. Either way, your overall expenses, including tuition and fees is much less than they would be if you went to a four year university.

Pick a Prof

Right before registration, I was sent a letter about a website called Pick a Prof. For $10 a year or $5 for 4 months, it allows you to look at reviews other students have written about professors at your university. They offer additional services, which I haven’t seen in any other websites.

They have grade histories, a schedule planner, student reviews, and textbook pricing and exchange. The website does have a lot of information about the services they offer, but unfortunately, you can’t try anything out until you buy a subscription. It was very helpful when scheduling my classes because I wanted to make sure I could find time to work and study without being overloaded. I didn’t use the professor reviews this time because as freshmen, we were limited because of our first-year seminars and our advisers helped register us during orientation.

It also has a Facebook application that helps to find classes with your friends. The professor reviews are collected online, but also from end of semester evaluations. Grade histories are straight from university records, so they’re not biased in any way. I also love the schedule planner. Sometimes it’s hard to make sure you get the best times for classes and make sure you’re not going to mess yourself up. They’re planner gives you a view of what you can take when, how long it will last and make sure you have room for work, sports, etc.

Some universities even pay for you to use this service. My mom’s school, for example, lets you have free access to Pick a Prof if you can validate your school’s email.