Just accept it; you’re not going to love every class you take every semester. Whether the course is challenging or a boring subject, or you just haven’t meshed with your instructor, there are ways to stay positive and engaged. A recent study by USA Today reports that calculus, biology, and chemistry were the top three hated classes by college students last year. Here are a few tips on how to survive the drudgery and even get a solid grade.

Explore Different Learning Styles

Everyone has his or her own unique approach to learning new things. If your teacher’s style doesn’t compliment your own, look for other ways to get information. The web is an endless source of learning opportunities. If you like videos or the opportunity to take a practice quiz, the internet is a great tool to reinforce your curriculum. Just make sure your sources are credible. Mike on YouTube may be a rocket scientist, but he may not be. By taking your education into your own hands, you’re more apt to survive those classes you hate.

Reevaluate Your Attitude

This semester, you may have that dreaded class where everything is wrong from the professor to the subject to the schedule. Keep an eye on perspective. Every course offers an opportunity to learn something new, and if you open your mind and change your attitude, you might be surprised by how much you end up enjoying it. Keep in mind that every class brings you one step closer to your ultimate goal: a degree and your dream job.

Relate the Topic to Everyday Life

Difficult-to-understand classes may be easier to swallow if you relate them to your daily life. If you’re a biology major and your tough subject is geometry, look for shapes and angles anywhere and study their relationships to one another. Consider taking pictures and make observations. The good news is that we use math and many other subjects without even noticing. Choosing to be aware and using what you learned in class will strengthen your understanding of the material, and it might not seem so hateful after all.

Get a Study Group Together

Power in numbers is more than just a phrase. If you’re having difficulty grasping a lesson, reach out to your peers for help. Form a study group or ask for some tutoring assistance. A new and completely different viewpoint of confusing topics can help clarify information you don’t understand. If nothing else, the companionship will make studying more enjoyable.

It’s Only Temporary

Don’t lose sight of the fact that this is just one class of many you’ll take during your college career. Once it’s over, it’s over, and you just need to focus on doing your best. If you need to, ask your instructor for extra credit so you can pass the class and leave it behind you forever.

Studying for classes you hate probably feels intimidating. Just remember that there are ways to survive these subjects and even make them more enjoyable. Don’t hesitate to add your own creative flair to your study approach; your grades are sure to reflect your input.

According to published research by Statistic Brain, 46 percent of us vowed to improve our health this year, and resolutions for 2018 will likely pan out the same. Another study reports that 80 percent of us will fall off that healthy bandwagon by February. Don’t be too hard on yourself. With commitments to your education and other interests, sticking to healthy habits is challenging. The goal of healthy changes is to focus on progress, not perfection. Here are a few tips to help you make healthy habits stick.

Start with Reasonable Goals

It’s the new year, and we’re all excited about getting in shape, but many of us bite off more than we can chew and end up getting frustrated. Healthy choices are not an all-or-nothing deal. Don’t blow off your workout because you have an exam. Try walking to class. 10 minutes of brisk walking will improve brain function while burning calories. Ignore commercials that promise you’ll lose 20 pounds in a month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a reasonable monthly weight loss goal is 4-8 pounds, but in one’s later years that could drop to 2-3 pounds per month. Just a few pounds a month will go a long way to improving heart health.

Use a Fitness Tracker

Better than tracking how long you spent at the gym, lay down some more valuable hardcore numbers like how many calories you burned and the maximum heart rate you achieved. Innovative technology like the Fitbit Ionic and Jawbone’s UP2 easily track your workouts, sleep, and more. Plus, these devices can enhance your favorite outfits. Good old standbys like MyFitnessPal.com has an excellent database of foods that make tracking calories easy and fun.

Find Joy in Everyday Changes

Making positive changes in your health shouldn’t feel like a huge burden. Figure out small changes that fit your personality and are exciting for you. Would you rather go for a hike than run a mile on a treadmill? Does a four-minute Tabata fit your schedule better than an hour of powerlifting? Are you a yoga guru? Go ahead and indulge yourself in whatever makes you feel empowered. If a bowl of ice cream after a stressful day of Monday classes makes you happy, then take that time for yourself. As long as you focus on the 80:20 nutrition plan of eight parts healthy and two parts indulgence, you will see positive changes over time.

Be Accountable to Yourself

Being part of an online community or hiring a personal trainer are all great choices if you actually commit to them. What’s more important is being accountable to yourself. Guilt doesn’t always motivate us. It often backfires and causes us to give up or lose sight of our ultimate goal of healthier habits. Only you can take charge of your health and reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, and obesity.

Many other serious illnesses like heart disease and diabetes are also linked to poor lifestyle choices. Committing to a healthy routine now will pave the way to good health in the future. Once you find joy in healthy choices, your new and improved lifestyle habits will stick. You may want to share these healthy traditions with your own family someday.

There are many situations in life where you will need to work full time while going to college.  You may have a family to support, bills to pay, and can’t give up work to go to school. Even without these responsibilities, working full time while going to school is a good way to avoid too much student loan debt.

Regardless of your reason to work full time while going to school, you’ll need to plan carefully to balance work and college time, and still have room for free time to recharge.

Make a Solid Plan

Get a planner app for your phone so your busy schedule is always with you.  Set realistic goals for work, study time, and rest. Planning your down time is an absolute must, in order to recharge your mind and body.


If you have an hour for lunch, try doing some homework in the lunch room. Use travel time to read on buses or trains, or listen to recorded lectures while driving.

Communicate With Your Boss

Speak with your manager and explain that you attend college after working hours.  Share your college schedule with your manager or supervisor to be sure you won’t have to stay late on those evenings when your class load is heaviest.  In most cases, your boss will appreciate that you are committed to improving yourself through higher education.  This could even lead to a promotion in the future.

Avoid Taking Too Many Classes

It’s not a race. If you work 40 hours a week, you will not be able to take eight classes per week and still keep your sanity at the end of the semester.  Opt for 3-hour night courses which meet one evening per week. You don’t have time to attend three 1-hour sessions of the same class every week. Weekend courses are an excellent option.


Spread your course load over evenings, weekends, and summer sessions, to avoid burnout.  If possible, look for a job with flexible hours, to better accommodate your class load. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many heavy classes at once.  Take at least one light course, such as an elective or a physical education class, to blow off steam.

Take Online Classes

Take as many online courses as you can.  Avoid wasting time and money commuting several times per week to your college campus. It’s much easier finding an online course to fit your work schedule than the other way around.

Use Your Support Network

Family and friends will help you if you ask.  If you have children, divide childcare time with your partner or your parents. Even getting a ride to work or school eases the stress of driving, and you gain more down time to study.  If you have a mentor*, ask for advice on how to juggle your busy life. Seeking an outside opinion is a great way to avoid burning out.


You can balance work and study if you stick to a solid plan, don’t over-extend yourself, and look to others for help carrying the burden.  Take days off from work around mid-term and final exams. And most importantly, don’t forget to take time to relax.  You earned it!