The beginning of fall term is underway across the nation, and many students at all levels are finding themselves returning to school. Getting back to college can be a daunting task for some of these students, particularly those of an age where they may have been in the workforce for 10, even 20 or 30 years. Finding appropriate ways to cope with the stress and frustrating school can provide may help make your school year more successful.
Going back to college as an adult can seem like a particularly daunting task. It doesn’t matter whether you haven’t stepped foot in an academic institution since high school or if you’ve got some college experience and now you’re coming back, it can still be scary. Fortunately, you can stand up straight, put your shoulders back, and recognize that you’re not the first grown-up to come back to school and you definitely won’t be alone. There’s no reason to be frightened by something tons of people have already completed!
Part of what’s so nerve-wracking about going back to school as an adult is what you psych yourself out for. You may get completely wrapped up in the fact that you’re older than the “typical” college student – in fact, many adults who are returning to school do. Instead of worrying about whether a bunch of teenagers are going to judge you for your age, focus on your academic goals and being the best student you can. What you contribute to the classroom is going to be a lot more important to your GPA than if you’re a little bit older than your classmates.
Many adults returning to school after a long hiatus bemoan the idea of an academic calendar. They complain that they’ve been out of school too long to be good at homework assignments, exam schedules and the task of studying. Long story short? That’s simply an excuse. College is just another set of routines, exactly like what you do in your day-to-day life – the only difference is that these routines are outside of your comfort zone. Taking on a new routine with a zest and excitement at your ability to success means it’s a lot easier – and a lot more likely that you really will succeed.
One of the most valuable skills you can hone as a returning student is the study skill. Here’s the secret to college that many students don’t figure out until they’re almost done: sitting down every night and spending some time with the course material is one of the best things you can do for your GPA. Study skills don’t have to involve complicated outlines or thousands of index cards; sometimes simply taking the time to absorb, process and understand the material is the best first step you could take.
College applications don’t need to be difficult, especially if the school you’re returning to is a community college. Advisors are specifically in place to help you with any admissions questions you may have. However, the process usually isn’t complicated and simply requires basic information – you can sometimes even complete the entire application online!
Probably the biggest worry that returning students have encompasses study habits and feeling out of place. That concern is the cost of school. Let’s face it, tuition isn’t cheap. However, the amounts of federal and private options for financial aid are so numerous that it doesn’t have to break your bank. A college degree can be affordable; all you have to do is be willing to take the time to research your options and apply for the most applicable ones. Scholarships, grants and loans are all available to assist with your tuition needs.
Returning students may have a number of fears about stepping foot back onto a college campus or starting that first course online – from fitting in to tuition concerns – they can run the full gamut. With a clear head and a combination of foresight and knowledge, returning students can conquer every single one of these fears with absolutely no problem. They’ll find information on back to school scholarship will help financially and online degree programs will help logistically and in the end, the only focus they’ll need to have is advancing in the working world with a degree in hand!