Use this advice to know what to expect
If you are going back to school as an adult, hats off to you! It takes a lot of courage to enroll if you’ve been out of school for a long time. Colleges and career-focused training schools are a great way to build your marketable skills and get you started in a new career field. But if you feel nervous about being in the classroom, don’t worry…you are not the only one!
Here are some tips to ease your mind and get you ready for this important step in your life.
Find a school that’s a good fit
Adult learners often have different considerations than younger students when choosing a school. Try to find a school that is close to home and has flexible options such as night classes, part-time options, or online options. You may feel more comfortable if it is a school that caters to adult learners so that there are other students in your same circumstances.
Get the information you need from the school
In an adult student’s life, when you are balancing work and family commitments, the last thing you need is a surprise. Make sure you get clear information from your school about:
- How long it takes to complete your program
- What sequence of courses you need to take to graduate in the shortest amount of time possible
- What is required outside of regular courses (like labs, externships, rotations)
- What options there are for financial aid
Treat school like a new job
Starting a college or career training program requires commitment. You can’t expect to complete the courses successfully without making some changes in your regular routine. Consider these strategies:
- Block out 2 to 3 hours every day to study, where family members can’t interrupt you.
- If you have young children, be sure to get child care for your class times and your study times.
- Devote a spot in your house to a desk, preferably in quiet place.
- Read up on study tips so that you use your time efficiently.
- Ask your family members to pick up some of your chores when you’re busy with school work.
- Learn to say no to other commitments. You simply can’t do it all.
Be honest with your instructor
If it’s been years since you’ve been in a classroom, you don’t need to hide this fact. Speak to your professor or instructor about your concerns and explain that you may need a little time to get up to speed. Your instructor may be able to help you with study tips and other resources to make your time in school better.
Join a study group
Oftentimes when adults go back to school, they tend to keep to themselves. But you may be missing out if you don’t get to know your fellow students. Joining study groups or student clubs can help you form connections that can make your school experience more meaningful and lead to connections in your new career field.
Starting a new training program or college program can be a great experience and a boost to your marketability. Don’t let fear of going back to school as an adult get in your way. With a little courage and a little time, you will be back in gear before you know it!
This post is part of the Seacoast Career Schools blog where we offer tips and advice regarding school, career, and healthy lifestyles. Find out more about career training options at Seacoast.