If you’re a certain age, you might feel a little awkward about going back to school with a bunch of whippersnappers. However, it’s important not to let these feelings get in the way of your self-improvement or future career prospects. Here are just a few tips for hitting the books again and making the most of your second chance at education.
1. Set Goals
Ideally, you should have both short- and long-term goals. Short-term goals would be things like “pass all of my classes this semester” or “study at least three nights per week,” and long-term goals would be “find a better job with my new degree” or “qualify for my community association management license.” The short goals will keep you focused on today’s challenges while the long goals will remind you why you’re bothering.
2. Relearn How to Study
Studying is a skill like anything else, and if it’s been years since you last crammed for a quiz, you might need a refresher course in how to take notes. There’s nothing wrong with this, so don’t be afraid to find a teacher or tutor at your school who can help you relearn what you need to know. If you can’t find someone on campus, there are also studying resources that you can seek out online.
3. Ask Questions
Since we’re on the subject of asking for help, this is also something that you should do regularly. It’s common for older or unconventional students to feel embarrassed about raising their hands in the classroom, but you can’t let that get in the way of your education. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. If you can’t meet a deadline because of your kids or current work demands, ask for an extension.
4. Remember Your Motivation
Why do you want to go back to school? What are you hoping to accomplish with your new qualifications? Maybe it’s moving your family into a higher income bracket. Maybe it’s proving someone wrong who doubted you. Whatever your reasons for re-enrolling in school, hold onto them and let them carry you through the bad days.
These are just a few tips for feeling comfortable in the classroom as a non-traditional student. Whether you’re finishing an old degree or seeking a brand-new certification for work, you’re doing a great thing by prioritizing your education. You should feel good about it!