Personal Growth

10 Tips for Returning to School as an Adult

January 11, 2017   /
Author: 
Nutrition411 Staff

It is sometimes overwhelming and a little scary to go back to school after several years. You have your own reason for choosing to go back, but whatever your reason is, these tips may help. 

  1. Start with a class that you will enjoy. Sure, your gut instinct might tell you to get the hardest classes out of the way first, but ignore that desire. Become acclimated to the college experience. Focus your time and energy on a subject that you are pretty sure you will enjoy.
  2. Try online courses. If you are tech-savvy enough, try taking a class online. These courses provide you with scheduling flexibility.
  3. Do not skip campus orientation. You might not know the usefulness of this session until you need to find the library or the copying center, etc.
  4. Consider taking introductory courses. Even if a particular introductory class is not part of your curriculum, taking it may help you in the long run. Maybe you did poorly in biology in high school or maybe you never elected to take a biology course at all, but now your coursework depends on it. In situations like this, it may help to take a basic course at a community college or other inexpensive institution first. This way you do not become overwhelmed during a class that needs this basic knowledge. It also helps you to keep from doing poorly, which may negatively impact your grade point average. In addition, you will get some practice in fine-tuning your study skills.
  5. Have a solid support network. Let your friends and loved ones know what they can do to help you as you begin your new role as student.
  6. Use one planner for everything. Do not separate your activities from school, work, family, etc. Whether you jot things down on paper or enter them into your phone or Outlook™ calendar, it is important that you keep track of everything in one place. You will even want to schedule study time so that it becomes a priority appointment for you.
  7. Consider becoming a mentor. If your school offers a mentoring program, consider becoming a mentor in your area of expertise. You will meet new people and learn more about the college that you are attending. It also looks great on a resume. You also may want to consider volunteering as a tutor or starting your own informal support group.
  8. Stop by the resource center. Study or education resource centers often offer valuable information on a variety of topics, including computers, general study tips, and how to conduct a research project. If you are really struggling with a course, try to find a tutor or study group for help, and do this as soon as you feel that you can no longer keep up with the work. The sooner you get help, the easier you will find it to get back on track.
  9. Know that you are not alone. Adult students are the fastest growing population in education. While it is may seem like a novel situation for you attend class with younger people, the other students are used to having older adults in the classroom with them.
  10. Stay excited and motivated. Find ways to remind yourself of why you are going back to school. Remember this especially during the courses that do not seem all that relevant to your future career. It is important to stay excited and motivated about the college process and what comes after it.