Working during the day and going to school in the evening is becoming more and more popular in Vietnam these days. People have to work to support themselves and their family; however, in order to work efficiently and earn some more money to meet their own and other family members’ ever-increasing needs, they have to “renovate” their previous knowledge and skills to meet the demanding requirements of the labor market. I do the same, looking forward to receiving my B.A. in English. From what I have been experiencing in the in-service training section of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, I am getting aware of a few advantages and disadvantages of attending evening classes.
There is no doubt that evening classes provide me with opportunities to improve my English. This language is a must at my workplace, where I have to communicate with other people via this international language either orally or in written form.
The second advantage of attending evening classes is I can work during the day. It is impossible for me to quit my job to pursue some further study because I am a significant bread-winner/wage-earner of my rather big family. But I do know that it is dangerous to stay academically unchanged for a decade or so, i.e. I have to refresh my knowledge to cope with all demands at work or else I will be fired sometime.
Attending evening classes also makes me always young and lively. The atmosphere of a school and its own requirements force me to forget something unpleasant usually found at work. I love such an atmosphere all my life.
Although I highly appreciate the advantages of attending evening classes, I really suffer from its unavoidable disadvantages. Firstly, I often feel tired after a long day of hard work. Consequently, I can hardly study enthusiastically in the evening. If the teacher of a given subject is experienced enough to inspire something in me and draw my attention to his or her lessons, I am all right with the subject; but if this is not the case, I have to struggle hard with the subject myself and only when I am lucky enough can I manage to pass it. Usually, I cannot avoid having to take the second examination for that subject.
Secondly, attending evening classes means I have to go along the crowded streets of Ho Chi Minh city during the rush hours, especially from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. And I am always in a hurry, being frightened of being late for school. If the weather is favorable, it is still acceptable to go to school after work; but during the rainy season, skipping a few, or even a considerable number of, class meetings is unavoidable. As a result, I cannot say sure how well I have acquire the minimal knowledge for a required course. Never can I say I have a sound knowledge of the English language!
Last but not least, attending evening classes means I usually come back home rather late and fail to have dinner together with other members of my family. And this is really bad. I need a B.A. in English but I do love and need my family very much, too. I feel regret at neglecting my studies at home just because I am a full-time worker and a part-time student at the same time.
In spite of these disadvantages, I keep on studying what I consider as crucial for my present job and my future career. I cannot wait until everything is all right to start my evening courses. I have to do the best with what I have right now. I enjoy the advantages of attending evening classes, and I am ready to accept its disadvantages, following an English saying: “Take the bad as well as the good.” It is real life!