Adult students going back to school face a number of challenges. One may be working while attending school, while others are juggling school and family obligations. Regardless of one’s commitments, these demands make it difficult for adults to go back to school. However, it isn’t impossible. Here are 4 tips for adults going back to school.
Consider How You’ll Pay for It
If you can finance your education, then this isn’t an issue. If you can cut back on other expenses to pay for your schooling, do so. If you can’t, don’t assume you have to go into debt to pay for your education. For example, there are scholarships available to older students just as there are younger students. There are scholarships specifically for working mothers and non-traditional students. Take the time to ask the school what financial aid they may offer. You may even qualify for campus jobs that fit around your school schedule.
Cultivate a Support System
Develop a support system before you return to school. Connect with family and friends who could provide childcare or ferry children to events. Once you sign up for classes, connect with other adults who can fill you in when you miss a class. Realize that you won’t know everything and accept that you may need help. You may need to ask classmates for help with homework, or you may need to review material at sites like Biology Junction. Consider joining study groups. Take advantage of online resources like refresher classes since these could make it easier to return to school.
Balance Family, Work and School
Determine what school schedule makes the most sense for you. Can you attend classes online during your lunch break? Do you want to attend school while your children are at school? Or do you need to attend classes at night or on weekends? Mark your school schedule in your planner and commit yourself to it. If something comes up, politely decline.
Also set aside set times to study and do homework. This may require dropping other things from your schedule like volunteering and watching TV. Or you need to identify times where you can do homework and study, such as doing schoolwork while the kids are playing sports. You could also do your homework while your children do theirs.
Ask family members to contribute to chores to free up your schedule. You might have to invest some time teaching kids how to make their lunches or laundry, but now you won’t have to do it yourself later.
Don’t Test Your Limits with Tests
Don’t try to cram the night before tests. Sleep deprivation will hurt your performance. Instead, schedule plenty of dedicated study time well before the test. Give yourself plenty of leeway in your schedule so that you arrive early; this ensures you won’t end up late for the exam, either. Take your time reading the instructions, answering what you know first before going back to the harder ones. Take your time taking the test, since your grade literally depends on it.
Adults can successfully return to school. The odds of success are greater if you make the right lifestyle changes and plan appropriately.