Encouragement for Adult Learners

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This post is dedicated to a particular group of students. This one’s for the mom or dad returning to school. There are many reasons for adults to attend college later in life, either as returning students or for the first time. Additional training may be required for your job or maybe you’ve recently lost a job and need to acquire new skills. Maybe you’re a woman facing a divorce after spending years raising a family, and you’re lacking marketable skills. Or perhaps you’re going to college to start a new path in life. Whatever the reason, going to college as an adult student can be intimidating and overwhelming. Here are some tips to keep in mind when embarking on your journey.

Don’t Forget Past Successes

I’ve worked with so many adult students who felt like they’d never keep up with their younger counterparts. They say, “It’s been so long since I’ve been a student.” or “I don’t know nearly as much about computers as the younger students.” I would always tell them, “You can do anything; you’re a parent.”

Think back on your life experience. Remember all the accomplishments you’ve had, the obstacles you’ve overcome, the things you’ve learned. Being a successful student simply requires learning a new set of skills. You’ve already proven you can do that. Go easy on yourself and realize that learning to incorporate academic skills into your already busy life will simply take time.

Get Your Family Onboard

You’re unsure of what your college future holds. So is your family. Be sure to talk to them about some of the anticipated changes ahead. They need to be aware that you will not be able to do everything for them you may have done in the past. Reassure your loved ones that you’re still committed to them and love them, but remind them you’ll need their help and support to achieve your goals.

Develop a Routine

Any life change such as a new job or a relocation takes some adjustment. Going back to school is no different. It will take some time to get used to all the changes, but coming up with a routine and sticking to it will help the transition. Consider the best study routine for you. If possible, find time to study regularly on campus and make it a habit. That will help tremendously in helping things run smoothly. I often advised adult students to schedule a free period or two between their classes if possible so they could build in some on-campus study periods.

This article gives some great tips for adults returning to school. Check it out for more information on ways to make your return to college easier.

The life of an adult student is often a hectic one and a time of uncertainty. Be kind to yourself during your adjustment. You’ve made the decision to return to school for a reason. Keep that in mind and remind yourself of your past successes. You can do it. You’re a parent!

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[…] talked about education for returning adult students as well as online learning. Adult students can find many more resources at the Project Working Mom […]

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