Making the life-changing decision to go back to college can be hard, especially if you have taken a few years off from school. Adult learners face a different set of battles and worries when thinking about enrolling in college. However, with these six tips to help adult learners go back to school, your first day can be less overwhelming and more exciting.
1.) Accept the positives you bring to the table
Too often adult learners focus on the struggles they will face going back to school as a nontraditional student and forget that they have life experience that other, more traditional students don’t have. So the first tip for adult learners is to accept your positive qualities and contributions as a student and a classmate. This asset gives you an the opportunity to share your thoughts and experiences from a unique perspective.
2.) Learn about other adult learner’s experiences
Realize you’re not alone. More and more adults are going back to school, making nontraditional students more common than you might think. By learning about other student’s experiences, you can see how they adapted to college-level courses and were successful adult learners.
3.) Consider online classes
If the idea of returning to a classroom makes you apprehensive, ease your way back into a college routine by starting with online classes. Many colleges now have online degrees and hybrid programs that allows students to incorporate online learning into their education. In fact, many nontraditional students prefer online courses because of the flexibility to learn from home.
4.) Revisit writing fundamentals
Regardless of what degree you plan on pursuing, college requires proper writing fundamentals. Everything from writing your college application to essays, dissertations, labs, notes, resumes or even emails to your professors requires knowing best writing practices. So by revisiting basic grammar rules now, you can save yourself frustration the first few weeks of school. Don’t be overwhelmed; you’ll be surprised how quickly you can brush up on your writing skills!
5.) Familiarize yourself with technology
Technology is your friend! While computers and digital resources may not have been as prevalent the last time you were in school, technology largely impacts the modern student. Being familiar with your computer and various learning apps can help adult learners with note-taking, brainstorming, researching, communication, studying and more.
6.) Find a school that accommodates your learning style
In order to get the most out of your education, you have to feel comfortable at your new school. Do some research about community, private and public colleges in your area and what resources each have to offer adult learners. Some resources to look for are full-time vs. half-time programs, online learning courses, night classes, student to professor ratio, tutoring services, workshops and flexible hours.
It’s never too late to go back to school. Whether you are 20, 40, 60 or 100, with the proper research and advice, you can be a successful adult learner.