With today’s job market there are a growing number of adults going back to school and furthering their education. Whether it is to increase their marketability, or to return to the corporate world with a higher pay grade, adult students are becoming more common.
If you are considering going back to school to change careers or climb the ladder in your current field, you may find it harder than when you were fresh out of high school, but it is not impossible.
Adult students have more responsibilities and factors to take into consideration before starting school. Therefore, these tips may just be the help you need to succeed.
1) Support Matters: When you decide to return to school, you will tell your family and friends. You may be met with mixed opinions on your choice. While you are earning your degree, support can mean the difference between achievement and failure. Keep the support close by and veer away from the doubters.
2) Be Honest: While talking with your friends and family about your goals, be honest. If they have a full and true understanding of what you want for your future, you are more likely to receive positive support.
3) Track your Achievements: From the start of your courses, list your achievements. One of the hardest aspects of continuing education is keeping motivated. Seeing what you have achieved can help with your motivation.
4) Get Out There: Whether you are attending a campus or studying online, you can find classmates that are going through the same experience. If there is a meet-up or social event, try to attend. This will add more support for achieving your goals.
5) Keep Organized: Staying organized is where many students fail. Knowing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and where you put it will help you keep everything running smoothly. Create a system that is easy to manage and understand so you can access what you need, when you need it.
6) Get Feedback: Asking your professor or instructor for feedback is an act that many students overlook. Many instructors have multiple classes with hundreds of students and very little time to volunteer feedback on how you are doing. Asking for feedback on your progress, assignments and weaknesses will give you a better idea of what needs more work.
7) Manage your Time: One issue that many adults face when returning to school is managing time. This is especially true for those working full time with a family as well. Though it is hard to juggle sometimes, it can be easier when you manage your time well. Make a schedule, share it with your family, and stick to it. If your family and work know what your schedule is, there is a better chance of keeping the schedule and gaining understanding while you study.
8) Get Ahead: There will be times when you find yourself with a little extra time. Use this time to get ahead on assignments, do additional research or studying, and get a grasp on what is coming next. This will put you ahead of the game, give you more understanding of your next assignment and also avoid falling behind in case an emergency comes up.
9) Find New Tools: Technology has created a way to be productive no matter what you are doing. Find new tools to use that will help you keep your assignments in order, on time, and accurate without added work.
10) Walk Away: The final and most important tip is to walk away. If you are over-worked, stressed out or tired, walk away for a while. You can achieve more by going back to your work refreshed and thinking clearly than you can sitting in front of the computer with unclear thoughts.
Gaining a higher education can be difficult regardless of age. For adults it comes with more difficulties. Taking the time to start off right, know your weaknesses, and manage your time properly can make all the difference. Consider these tips and create a strategy and schedule that will contribute to your success.
Sylvie Light writes full-time for education blogs nationwide. She writes for www.usfca.edu where you can find out more about master of public administration online.