Seven reasons to get back to college. So you wanna return to college? This is definitely a huge call from you! As an adult returning back to college, sometimes it can be a little bit tricky. You can be confused about where to start. You may want to go for an online college or a part-time degree or even a fulltime.
The years you have spent in the real world gathering experiences with skills can make you ever ready to get back to the student endeavour. The truth is that as daunting as this may seem, you are not the only one. According to the National Centre for Education Statistics, between 2001 and 2015 there has been a 35% increase in college students who are between the ages of 25 to 34.
There are many reasons why you would want to go back to college. Let’s check out some of them:
- Advancement in Career
- Change of Course
- Bolster Confidence
- Job security
There could be many more reasons any adult would want to go back to school, depending on who you are talking to. Whatever those reasons are, we’ll just share a few useful tips that will keep you focused on your goal of making a comeback to college.
- Determine What You Want
Like we concluded earlier, there are litanies of reasons why people go back to college. It could be to bolster their earn capacity in their current employment, expand their network, take up a challenge, improve themselves and creating a better future for their families. It could even be for the bragging rights of having a degree! Whatever it is, you would want to set your goals and define them objectively before taking the next step.
A short pen, they say is better than a long memory. You would want to write down your reasons and objectives so that you can always check back to ensure you are on the right track. It’s always advisable that you make your goals SMART—that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound. A measurable goal for example, would include the amount of courses you want to complete within a given period or the GPA you are targeting. Doing this ensures that you can stay on track and are accountable.
- Determine Your Schedule
Whether you are 21 or 35, college always poses a challenge as it can be daunting and would stretch you to the limits. This is because you would need to create a balance between your academic, social, work and private life. This naturally would require you to make an adjustment on your schedules to suit the new demand on your time.
You can begin with your class schedule as that is fixed and not within your control. You can then build other exigencies in bits to in a way that won’t affect your studies. Through having a solid schedule, it makes it possible for you to keep up to what you need to do and also stay fired up to complete tasks as you already have an inkling of how your days will pan out.
- Sort out Money Matters Ahead of Time
Regardless of whether you are single or have a family you look after, returning to college will always come with its attendant costs. Money could even be the reason you didn’t acquire your degree when you were younger! This time around, you’ll want to have a monthly budget and then break down that budget to cater for your academic and other living costs. Afterwards, you can plan with that budget. If you want to be successful, you just have to be financially independent and responsible.
Sometimes you may still not have all the money you need to cater for your college. In such cases, getting financial assistance in form of scholarships, grants and financial aid is very important. You may want to do a research and find tuition-free and accredited universities like University of the People to cushion your costs.
- Fix the Paperwork
It’s no news that to complete a degree and be deemed a graduate, you need to take a certain number of classes and units. You want to ensure that you research the requisite coursework and class availability that would enable you to schedule appropriately to graduate at the set time. Look at the application deadlines and call for transcripts to be eligible as a prospective student.
This is even more important when you are going back to another school other than the one you had attended.
5. Spread Your Network
One of the benefits of going back to college is that you are able to bolster your social capital—connect to more people. These folks could be from your background or entirely new backgrounds. Colleges serve as a potpourri for people from different walks of life who are bound by similar goals and objectives. You can leverage on this platform and make lifelong friends and alliances that would prove to be invaluable later on in life.
- Seek Assistance
Everything we do in life becomes easier when we can harness the power of people. There is hardly any road you would want to ply that hasn’t been travelled by another person. This is where counsellors come in. They will be there to give you useful advice—whether you are going back to college, or about to graduate. These career and school counsellors will ensure that you achieve your goals within a set time. You can schedule a meeting with them so that they can assist you in mapping out your coursework ahead of time so that you don’t muddle up anything you may be required to do.
Finally, there are different organizations that may interest you on campus and even online (if it is an online degree) where you can connect with like minds who are excited about the things that excite you too. You can also leverage on online forums like Quora, Facebook Groups and even YouTube videos and relevant podcasts to answer any question that may still be on your mind.
- Strike A Balance
Going back to school can be a wrinkle on the forehead with an avalanche of tests, home works, group works and exams. In order to keep your sanity, you need to inculcate leisure time in your schedules so that you don’t burn out. If you still don’t have time to fit in leisure, you may want to rejig your daily routine and start waking up earlier than you do now. You may consider a workout in or begin doing your homework in the early hours of the day when your mental energy is still fresh. Extra leisure time can then be at night when you must have finished
Going to college can be very demanding, with tests, deadlines, and homework. You want to ensure that you eke out some time in your schedule for leisure activities and exercise so that you don’t experience burnout. If you feel like you “don’t have enough time” for these things, consider waking up earlier than you do now. You would want to get a workout in or start working on homework earlier in the day since your brain will be fresh from sleep, and then you’ll have spare time afterwards.