Advice for Adults Going Back to School

Even if you didn’t head off to college right after high school or if you’ve put off furthering your education to raise a family or start your career, you can still head back to get that degree. To improve your odds of success, here is some advice for adults going back to school.

Organization is Key

When you’re young and don’t have any other responsibilities, you don’t need to be that organized to do well in school. If you’re juggling a job, a family, and an education then you desperately need to stay organization or you will get overwhelmed by the demands of all three. Be sure to maintain a calendar so you can mark down due dates for assignments along with other important dates, such as work meetings or children’s doctor appointments.

adults returning to collegeGet Support from Family

You may need some help from those around you in order to excel. One of the best pieces of advice for adults going back to school is to make the most of assistance from others. If your parents can babysit so you can have a few hours to study on the weekends, let them. If your spouse can take the kids to the park or to the movies so you can focus on your homework, that’s great. You don’t have to do everything. And don’t be shy about asking for help, even from your kids.

Be Realistic

If you haven’t been to school in awhile, don’t be surprised if it takes you a bit to get back in the swing of education. Don’t assume you don’t have what it takes just because you get a disappointing grade on a quiz or don’t understand something in the reading. Ask your instructors. One of the benefits of being an adult is that you can talk to your professors more as equals. They are often very understanding about the challenges faced by non-traditional students and are usually willing to help as much as possible.

Celebrate Success

Another piece of advice for adults going back to school is to celebrate when you accomplish a goal. If you’ve gotten an “A” on that project or passed a course with flying colors, don’t hide your success. You should reward yourself and celebrate with your family. Not only does this increase your confidence but shows your children that educational success is a good thing. You’ll be a positive role model for them.

Consider Online Education

One of the scariest things for many non-traditional students is interacting with younger students. While this shouldn’t be frightening because you have much more to offer in terms of life experience to class discussions, many adults just feel more comfortable completing their courses online. The convenience and flexibility offered by distance education also helps because it fits better into their already hectic lives. You might want to consider this option as well.

The final piece of advice for adults going back to school is simply to get the most out of the experience possible. You’ll be glad you did.

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