There you are trying to cram during your break at work. You’ve been reading for the last 20 minutes. Suddenly you realize you don’t remember a single thing from the paragraph. Or maybe you’re at your kitchen table, and it dawns on you that you’ve read the same sentence five times. That “What am I reading?” moment happens often with students, especially if you’re an adult who has just gone back to college. An affordable career diploma is great, but you need to guard your time as well as your money.
Losing your train of thought while reading can be frustrating, especially if you’re stretched for time and have to re-read it. But don’t stress! The first step to remembering more of what you read is recognizing the mistakes you might be making. We’ve listed the most common mistakes below. Plus, we created a study guide that you can use next time you’re diving into a new chapter.
Wait, what?! No really, stick with us. We’re serious. When you’re doing academic-related reading, it’s not just about moving your eyes over text. Not actively engaging in your reading is the most common mistake students make. You’ll see this idea pop up again and again in the other missteps below.
This might be another surprising one. But, if you jump in and start with the very first sentence, you might not know what you’re reading until about halfway through. Before you start reading your assignment, scan it. Look at the title, section titles and any bolded or called out information so you can better understand the purpose of the text.
Our brains have a lot to remember already. Grocery lists, kids’ practice schedules, that upcoming work project. But when we write something down, it helps us remember it better. For students, it’s even more important. Research proves taking notes with a pen and paper (instead of a laptop) improves learning. So when you’re reading, take notes! Take note of key points, keywords, big ideas, points that make you think “that’s interesting,” and ideas that leave you with a question.
Want some help?
Download our Study Guide: What Am I Reading?
Some students think the best way to learn is to regurgitate what they’ve read. But that’s way off. Knowledge that is only repeated verbatim what can fade fast, leaving you wondering a few months later about what was in a particular chapter. But, if you ask yourself “Why?” while you’re reading, you’ll be in much better shape. Think about why your instructor assigned a particular topic. When you highlight or write down the main idea, take it another step and write why it's important.
Where you read hurts or helps how much you retain. One really bad place? Your bed. Lying on your bed while you read can make you feel sleepy and will impact your concentration. Sit upright at a desk, your kitchen table, or in a comfy chair. Bonus focus points if you choose a well-lit room where there are minimal noise distractions.
An easy way to forget something you just read? Leaving the ideas you learned behind as you go out into the world. Or in other words, not applying what you learned to your life. Taking what you learned and putting it to work quickly is key, especially if you’re going back to college to get ahead in your career. It’s hard to apply everything all at once, so choose one concept at a time to work into your life or career.
Between emails, texts, Facebook, that new binge-able show, kids, laundry, what to make for dinner, there are so many ways you can let distraction crowd your concentration. But the more interruptions, the less likely you’ll be to remember what you’re reading. Try to make reading time sacred. Block off a “no distractions” time in your day. Let your family know, put your phone down, and focus just on the task at hand. If it’s too hard to ignore your devices, put your phone on “Do Not Disturb,” or try an app that temporarily blocks those types of sites.
As an online student, a good portion of your schoolwork is reading. But by avoiding the mistakes above you can get more out of the materials given to you and work toward your goals quicker!
An online Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education is designed for aspiring educators who want to develop a career focused on teaching children age 4 and younger. Though you may have stayed at home with a sitter or guardian, or attended a loosely-programmed preschool or play group at that age, it’s now the 2010s and expectations for life pre-K now include structured education by teachers who have earned degrees specifically for this field.
If you have a heart for little kids and patience to boot, consider earning your online Associate Degree and preparing for a job as a preschool teacher! The main goal of preschool is for toddlers to gain language, motor, and social skills while having lots and lots of fun.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for preschool teachers is projected to increase 10% between 2016 and 2026.* That’s a faster-than-average growth projection for all occupations during the same time period. Since the typical requirement for launching a career as a preschool teacher is the completion of an Associate Degree, that leaves plenty of time to get started, graduate, and secure a position in this growing field.
Positions for preschool teachers are available through Head Start programs, private early childhood education centers, churches and faith-based schools, as well as through tutoring, nannying, and at-home childcare services.
As more school systems throughout the U.S. enroll first-generation citizens from non-English-speaking homes, there’s a growing need for trained teachers who can help the youngest of students learn English. Becoming a preschool teacher who works with English Language Learners (ELLs) is a unique way to apply your passion for ECE to a demographic of children who can greatly benefit from your language skills.
If private childcare and teaching is more your style—and you have a sense of adventure—use your ECE degree to become an au pair for a family outside the U.S., or nanny for a foreign family that’s recently moved to the U.S. In both situations, your training will bolster the children’s English-speaking skills and you’ll gain a world of knowledge about another culture.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Preschool Teachers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm (visited October 31, 2018).
Look at you! You got swole and you loved it so much you’ve decided to help others get swole. What’s your next step? Professional certification! You already look the part of a legit personal trainer and that’s excellent for marketing your skills. But it’s a professional certification that really shows your potential clients that you’re qualified to train them. In other words, it gives them permission to trust you right from the start.
Don’t worry, training your brain for certification won’t take as long as training your body into the best physical shape of your life. You also don’t have to go anywhere to get it done; you can learn everything you need to know with online personal training courses at Ashworth College. Our Personal Trainer Career Diploma program can be completed in as few as four months and you can study at your own pace.
The program curriculum aligns with the standards set by the National Council on Strength and Fitness and helps prep you specifically for their Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification exam. Because of the NCSF mission to promote high levels of professional competency, ethics, and safety, their CPTs are considered highly-reputable industry wide.
There are nearly a dozen well-known certification programs available for aspiring personal trainers. They feature a range of costs, time commitments, and reputation levels. Here are some reasons why Ashworth College chose to base our program on the NCSF-CPT exam:
By the way, when you enroll in the Personal Trainer Career Diploma program at Ashworth College, you’ll also have the cost of the NCSF-CPT exam, practice test, study guides, and a 1-year membership covered by tuition! Once you graduate, you’ll be ready to sit for your exam without jumping through hoops. We’ll help you get prepped and get done so you can start pursuing your passion for personal training with confidence.
If your job no longer excites you as much as it once did, you may need to consider changing careers. It seems like an intimidating idea at first, but no matter where you are in your work life, making a career change could be the solution that leads to a happier, more successful you.
Before you can find success tackling something new, you have to understand what you’re leaving behind. Acknowledging that you are not happy with your current job–and figuring out why–is the first step to making a career change. Many people who are unhappy at work fall into one of these categories:
Feelings of discontent are extremely common when it comes to the working life and nearly everyone feels them to some degree at one time or another. But if you’re feeling unhappy at work more often than not, for your own health and well-being, you need to be proactive about making a change on your own terms.
Step one of finding a new path is homing in on what exactly you want to change and why. Write down your "wants" and your "don’t wants” about work. You’re not signing any dotted lines here, you’re just making notes for your own personal reference. Put everything on the table no matter how selfish or outrageous it seems because drawing hard lines between what you want and don’t want makes every step towards a new career much more likely to result in success.
If you need some guidance thinking through your feelings about your work, take this quick quiz to find out what kind of a career change might best suit your needs. You may benefit from a little tweak or you may be inspired to tackle something totally new.
One you figure out what kind of career change will inspire you, you can start taking steps toward it. In some cases, you may just need to ask the boss for a new opportunity or project that will challenge you without taking you too far from your current role. That could require a refresh of your skills, or a few steps into a new subject area. Earning a career-specific certification can be a smart investment here. You can expand your opportunities at work by digging deeper into a creative skill, business skill, trade, or something totally new.
If you’ve determined you need to make a drastic career change, you may need to start a new degree, or finish one you didn’t complete. Don’t worry! Returning to college is not as scary as it seems. The right school can be affordable and flexible to fit into your already busy schedule.
Check out the opportunities here at Ashworth College. We provide online diploma, degree, certificate and career training programs that give you freedom and flexibility to pursue additional education on your time, from your own home, and without the need for Federal student loans. You may find yourself in that dream career a lot faster than you thought possible.