ADVICE FOR ADULTS RETURNING TO SCHOOL*

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No matter what your age, there are many reasons why you might want to return to school. Maybe you are looking to change your career, or return to work after having a family, for example. Perhaps you want to advance on your chosen career ladder, or you might have time on your hands and decide it's time to study as a hobby, learning about something you are passionate about or obtain new skills.

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1. Think carefully. As you think about returning to school, carefully consider your reasons for doing so. Then consider those other important factors that will be affected by your decision. For example, do you have the time required to attend classes and complete homework? How will you be affected financially? Would a full-time, rather than a part-time course be better for you? It is even possible that studying from with an online course could suit your lifestyle better. 

2. Enlist support. If you have heart set on returning, then don't let anything be a barrier. Talk to your family and friends and make them part of your decision. With the right support network around you, it will make the transition back to school easier, and you will have someone to talk to when you get stressed.

3. Research. First of all, you want to know what college is going to suit your chosen goals. If you are pursuing a professional field, such as becoming a doctor, try a med school college consulting  to point you in the right direction. When you have narrowed down the places you are interested in, schedule a visit and have a look at the campus. Book a meeting with an available tutor who will be able to answer any questions you have about the course.

4. Finances. Scholarships aren't only available for young people. Older students and working moms can use them too. As college costs can be quite high, apply for help to the Federal Student Aid, or any alternative other than a bank loan or credit card which will incur further expense down the line.

5. Fitting in. As a mature student, you might worry that you won't fit into the school environment. However, there will be other adults on campus who feel the same you do. Join up with them, make friends and form study groups, and support each other. Also, you may find younger students will come to you for advice. After all, you have age and wisdom on their side, and like it or not, you may be seen as a surrogate parent figure.

6. Studying. You will need to make some space for homework. If your home is quiet, and your children have all grown up, you should be okay. However, if your home is a hectic place, then use college facilities for the peace and quiet you need to concentrate. If you find you are struggling with assignments, ask for help. That is what your tutors are there for. The first year will be the most difficult and is the time when a lot of people give up. Persevere, get the advice you need, and vent your stresses to family and friends. We all know how stressful exam time can be. However, provided you have found the time and motivation to study, you should be okay. Remember to arrive early to give yourself time to breathe, and take the exam paper at your pace.

7. Home-school balance. If you do have family at home, you need to discuss with them the possible life changes. Your partner may have to take responsibility of the household chores, and your children will need to understand your need for quiet. They also need to realise that you will be stressed at times, particularly in those first few months, so ask for their patience. 

Money will be tighter than normal so find ways for you and your family to make cutbacks on your spending. Remind your family that you love them on a daily basis, and even ask for their help if there is something you find difficult, such as using a particular computer program. Look for a time in the day, such as at mealtimes, when you can all spend time together. For once, tell your children about your school day while they tell you about theirs.

8. Relax. Life is full of stresses, but these can almost always be alleviated by taking the time to rest. Don't stop doing the things you enjoy, even if it isn't as often, and don't forget to sleep.

*This is a collaboration post, all advertorial posts on Tea With Gi are carefully reviewed to fit in with the theme and current content of the blog.

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3 comments

  1. This is a really handy little post.
    I was thinking of going back to uni to do my masters and I was dead set on the idea but I figured starting another degree at 26 when I still wasnt sure what career path I wanted is kinda pointless. Since then I've found a job role I love and started a career from it. Im now looking to do my CII (essentially a degree in insurance) through work and I couldn't be happier about the way things worked out.

    Rebecca, libfemblog.com xo

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  2. Such an interesting post. I personally won't be returning to school but I do have a few friends who have turned back to education to change their life around and have been absolutely frightened of it all so its great to have done this!

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  3. My mum went back to university to complete her degree in nursing at 42y/o and it's done her so much good. Sure, it was difficult for us all while she was studying, but we were all so proud of her! She's even doing add-on modules around work, and will probably end up doing a Masters one day. She's an impressive woman!

    Hannah
    hannahinternational.co.uk

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