6 Tips for Adult Students Going Back to School


Bachelor of arts degree in communication studies

Going back to school is a big deal, a big decision and will take a lot of work and effort. It can be very exciting but it can also be very stressful. There are a lot of good reasons to make the jump to get back into an academic program after some time away, however. Of people who have bachelors degrees, most say it has “paid off.” At least 83% of college graduates take this view of their degree. There are things the returning student can do to make the process go better, say experts in adult education at Rhode Island University. Here are some things these students can do to have a better experience.

  1. Set goals for yourself. When adults students make the decision to go back to school, they are not doing it because it is the next step in their education the way it is for college students who are coming straight from high school. Adult students have had jobs and have other responsibilities. When you go back, spending some time setting out your goals is a good first step. Think about why you want to go back to school and what you hope to get out of it. Rhode Island University experts comment that adult students are often more determined than other students.
  2. Spend some time working on your schedule. Be very disciplined in how you allocate your time. Rhode Island University experts sat that it is important to structure your schedule so that you can balance all of the competing responsibilities that you have such as work and family. You will find your life is easier to manage if you have a schedule and you find a way to stick to it. You have less time to play with than younger students but you also have more experience managing your time. If you keep yourself on schedule, you will be able to keep all your balls in the air.
  3. Work out your finances. There are a lot of costs involved with going back to school. Parents who go back to school not only have to budget for their classes and books and the other costs of the academic program they are going to start but they may have additional childcare costs when they go back to school. Make a budget for yourself so you can keep yourself within that and not spend more than you want to.
  4. Look into financial assistance. Rhode Island University officials say that adult students who are going back to school should check to see if there are any programs that they qualify for that would help them pay for their education. The school you attend should have staff to help you find any grants or other programs that might help you financially during this time.
  5. Use the life lessons you have learned. Not all lessons we learn are in school. You should take advantage of the fact that you have a lot more life experience than many of the people who are around you. That may mean different things for different people but make sure you never think of the fact that you are going back to school as a bad thing. Your experience should help you get through the process.
  6. Wherever you are, be there. It is easy to always be thinking about other places. When adult students are at school, they are often thinking about work or home. When they are at work they are thinking about school or home. When they are at home they are thinking about work or school. By letting your brain wander than way, you will give nothing your full attention and miss out. It also means they do not do as good of a job in any of those parts of their lives. Be fully present in each space and you will get a lot more done and feel better about yourself. This will take practice. If you dwell on your kids at school, do not beat yourself up for it, just guide your brain gently back to school.

Going back to school can be a very rewarding and enriching experience. You should make the most of it

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