7 Tips for Adult Learners Going Back to School
Going back to school as an adult can create a unique set of obstacles that may differ from that of a traditional student. Balancing classes and schoolwork, along with a full-time or even part-time job, family commitments and a social life can be a challenge for some students. This can create a mix of emotions, anywhere from excitement to anxiety, and not all students have a support system to help ease these concerns.
Returning to school after a long gap of time can be daunting, but there are endless positive outcomes when it comes to networking with fellow students and faculty, not to mention the thrill that comes with learning a new skill and bettering oneself. Check out these seven tips to help make the most out of your learning experience.
- Ask for Guidance
Asking a – school representative for help is a great place to start to make sure you’re on track. Their job is to help students and assure you succeed, so be sure to take advantage of these services. Whether you have questions about the process for getting started, time management concerns or help locating classes, they can help you find the answers.
Guidance can also be found by talking directly with your course instructors. If you have a question about a particular lesson, a topic being discussed or the trade in general, your instructors are great resources. At many schools, including Apex, instructors have designated hours to help students.
- Learn Time Management
There are many ways you can learn to manage your time effectively. There isn’t one correct way to do it because everyone has different priorities, preferences and practices. Some students improve time management skills through creating to-do lists, using planners and calendars, while others may utilize technology to set cell phone alarms and task reminders.
Good time management skills can also benefit you in keeping on top of your small achievable goals. Every detail may not be mapped, but managing your school, work and free time can help you accomplish the small steps to your ultimate goal.
- Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is something that, as adult learners, we tend to value more, but do less. As adult learners, we don’t always have the option to take mid-day naps or sleep-in on the weekends. However, sleep is vital, and that is an understatement because sleep can help by:
Support systems offer a way to manage stress, anxiety, questions, and the school process. Support systems can be made of friends, advisors, teachers, significant others, parents and/or relatives.
Your support system can be where you go to unwind and take a break or who you talk to about school. It will give you the chance to talk out your problems or give you a fresh perspective.
- Set Small, Reachable Goals
Starting with small, achievable goals is like going through different levels in video games and earning experience points for each task you complete. Each goal you set for yourself can have a reward – like a check mark on a list or something small and tangible. Just like experience points can lead to new levels, each small goal can lead to one ultimate goal.
The benefit of small goals will make the journey to your final goal more attainable, and it will give you confidence in your ability to get there.
- Balance Work and Personal Time
It is desirable to keep a healthly balance in life’s activities. It is easy to get wrapped up in work and school, so planning personal time, and time with family or friends, is what helps keep a healthy work and life balance.
Keeping a healthy work and life balance will also help you get more out of your school time. Taking personal time can help refresh so when you go to school you’ll be focused and relaxed.
Many times, balancing the two corresponds with time management. It connects with knowing your priorities and meeting all your needs.
- Enjoy Your Adult Learning Experience
Every student going to school has their own unique experience. Whether it is the reason why you decided to continue education or the process of going back to school, your experience and drive is your own.
Adults Going Back to School
Going back to school, especially when reenrolling after a long time, has many benefits. The small fears of getting back into the swing of things shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your goals. Remember to set small achievable goals with reasonable deadlines. And, if you’re having a hard time, don’t be scared to ask for guidance from someone at the school or someone in your support system.
Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.