With the end of summer approaching and the beginning of fall also hailing the start of the new school year, many students are returning to the academic world. We aren’t just talking about elementary, middle and high school students here – fall term is beginning for college students, too. Many students are finding themselves confronted with another school year and are looking with good ways to cope.
There’s something unique about the feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’re coming back to school as an adult. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been away for years or you just took a temporary break, the combination of nervousness and fear can seem overwhelming and exhausting. However, all you have to remember is this: you’re not the only adult who has gone back to complete your education and earn a degree, and you definitely won’t be the last grown-up to do so. Straighten your shoulders and shake off the nerves because you won’t get a mortarboard by being scared!
So what is it about school that seems so scary when you’re coming back as an adult? One of the major fears adults express is nervousness at not fitting in. Teenagers and young adults primarily populate colleges, and it can be easy to psych yourself into worrying about whether people are judging you for your age. Shortest explanation: they’re not. Instead of being so worked up about what others are thinking of you, the best way to confront these fears is to focus on yourself first. Everything else will follow.
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.
Many students feel a particular brand of terror strike their hearts at the thought of studying. Developing good study habits are one of the best things you can do as a student, not just as a returning student. The giant secret to having successful study habits isn’t as difficult as you may think, though. Simply taking the time every night to focus on your school materials is often enough; you don’t need to spend hours as long as you can concentrate and review the information thoroughly. Good study habits are the first step to a golden college career.
The application process for starting or returning to a college career isn’t difficult, either. It definitely should not deter you from getting back to earn your degree! Community colleges often have their application process online, and the only forms you have to submit can be faxed. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to set up a meeting with an admissions advisor, who can also assist with setting up your schedule.
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 grants for going back to school will help financially and distance learning course 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!