Tips For Going Back to School As an Adult
The economic decline has prompted many business people to go back to school. Pursuing higher education can improve your job security, put you on a new path in a different career field, or get you a raise. Whatever your reasons may be for deciding to continue your education, you will face unique challenges as you balance your career, your family, and your personal life with school. Here are some tips for adults returning to college:
Get Financial Help. Adults that return to college are much more likely than their traditional counterparts to do well in their classes. It is for this reason that so many scholarships and government grant programs exist to help people further their education. Adults have clear career goals, homes, and families to motivate them to do well in their classes, so they are a rewarding group for many organizations to support. Many employers even offer to reimburse employees for continuing education. Spend some time searching online for scholarships and grants, and ask your employer if they will subsidize your education. School is expensive, but scholarships and special programs can relieve some of the pressure of going back to school.
Keep a strict schedule. As an adult, you have many more demands on your time than a traditional college student. Most adult students are expected to keep up with their work schedules, family and social lives, and their home responsibilities on top of their educational pursuits. With all of these responsibilities, it is extremely important that you come up with a schedule to help you survive. Set aside blocks of time for study and blocks of time to spend with your family. Ask your family to respect your study time, and respect the time you designate as family time by spending it with your family.
Get your sleep. If you have children, you know all about sleep deprivation. When you miss out on sleep, crucial things can escape your notice, you can’t focus well, and you are cranky to boot. We’ve all seen the public service ads comparing drowsy driving to drunk driving. Would you take an important exam drunk? If you don’t get your sleep you can’t learn well and you won’t be able to remember what you’ve learned when it matters.
Delegate and learn to say no. When you add new responsibilities to your schedule, you will have to sacrifice some control in other aspects of your life. Learning to delegate and cut back will help you deal with the extra responsibilities. If you have children, you might want to teach them how to pack their own lunches, or if you have a large yard, consider hiring someone to cut your grass every week. Anything you can do to make it easier to focus on school will be an investment in your future.
Create a support group. You are not the only adult who has ever decided to go back to school. Find friends in your classes or online who are in your situation and commiserate together. You can even form study groups that will coincide with your busy work schedules and family lives.
Find out if your school offers programs specifically for adults. Often times, things like child care, career counseling, and tech courses are available to help adult students succeed in their schooling. Take advantage of all of the available programs you find.
The decision to return to school is life-changing, but dealing with a class schedule is a temporary inconvenience on your path to success. Keep your goals in mind as you face your challenges and get your family’s support. Furthering your education is not easy, but it’s definitely worth it.