Study Strategies – 5 Essential Tips for Adult Learners Returning to College or University

November 16, 2021

Returning to college or university as an adult can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It’s a great way to further your career or to get started in a new one. Whichever the case, many adults are hesitant about going back to school for fear of not having enough time or not being able to keep up.

If you’ve decided to return to college or university as an adult, take a moment to read through the tips below to help you make an easy transition.

1. Take the Easy Courses First

If it’s been a few years since you juggled classes and homework, you’ll probably want to ease into your new school life slowly. Give yourself an adjustment period by taking your less demanding courses in the beginning. Save the harder courses for later, when you’re more accustomed to college life as an adult. If you feel like you need some support at any point in this journey, online tutoring is a great way to get one-on-one help with any aspects of a subject you’re finding difficult.

2. Get the Financial Assistance You Deserve

College isn’t cheap, no matter how old you are when you go. As an adult, you probably have other financial obligations to consider as well, which is why you need to get as much financial assistance as possible. There are scholarships available for older or unconventional students, so get online and apply. Check FAFSA (federal student aid) and the website of the school you’re attending for financial programs.

3. Don’t Take on Too Many Classes at Once

Your schedule is probably already packed full of responsibilities, including work and household chores. Going back to school will only add to your load, so don’t feel pressured to take on too many classes at one time.

When scheduling classes, remember that for every hour of class, you’ll have about 3-4 hours of homework a week. Be sure to allow enough time for studying and homework for each class in addition to your normal daily activities.

4. Enlist Your Family for Help and Support

Your going back to school will affect everyone in the household. You’ll need time to attend classes and study, so the rest of your family may have to pick up the slack. Ask everyone to be respectful of the quiet time you need to study, and enlist their help with chores to help keep the house in shape while you’re getting your degree. Even the smallest members of your family can help by picking up after themselves and finding quiet activities to do while you’re studying.

5. Don’t Give Up

College is challenging for most people, but as an adult with other responsibilities, it can be even more confronting. The main thing to remember is that you can make it through. You’re going back to school to better yourself, and that’s worth the stress and exhaustion you may feel from time to time.

Remember, your college stint will come to an end eventually, so hang in there and do your best. Ask for help when you need it, and keep your eye on the prize.

Adults go back to school all the time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a challenging experience for most people. The good news is that as difficult as it may be, it’s even more rewarding when you know you’ve done something to better yourself. If you’re an adult returning to college or university, follow the tips above to improve your overall experience and chances for success.



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