By Nadia Talbot, Employment Counsellor
Returning to school as an adult learner can be tough. As the first day of school creeps closer and closer, you grow more excited and anxious. What is the voice in your head saying about the decision? You start worrying that that you’re too old, you’ve been out of school too long, you’ve taken on too much. You might be wondering if you will be able to keep up, if you’ll be able to adapt to new technology, if you will be able to study effectively, and how you will be able to balance all areas of your life. These are normal feelings that occur anytime we make big decisions and changes in our lives.
Success in school as an adult is possible if you keep the following tips in mind:
- Maintain a Positive Attitude and an Open Mind!
Since the last time you were in school, things have likely changed. Successfully adjusting to these changes requires maintaining a positive attitude and a belief that you can do it. Keep an open mind to new ways of learning. Fortunately, you have the advantage of having developed many new strengths and a world of experience to help you succeed.
- Build your Support Team!
Having a supportive team makes a difference. Asking for support from those closest to you will help you succeed, as you will likely need their help at some point during school. In addition, connecting and building relationships with other students in your program will make your time in school more enjoyable and easier as you can learn from each other. Lastly, get to know your professors, teacher assistants, and student support services. These individuals want you to succeed and have years of experience and guidance to help you build study habits and access financial services, disability supports and counselling.
- Plan Ahead and Create a Schedule!
You probably already manage a busy schedule. Now you’re adding one more responsibility to the mix. Before school starts, try to anticipate what kinds of challenges could happen in your schedule. How would you plan for them? Do you have a backup plan? Once you have planned as much as you can, create a schedule using a good old-fashioned day planner or your smart phone. Having a schedule will help you stay on top of your courses, assignment due dates and exams while also organizing your personal life.
Going back to school is not easy, but the satisfaction you get from completing your course of study is well worth the effort. Hopefully, these tips and advice will help you find success at school.
For more information about resources in London, contact your educational institution.