Going back to school when you are older is incredibly rewarding, but of course, there will be challenges ahead. If you haven’t studied for a long time, it might not be easy to slip back into a scholastic routine. Then there’s the question of whether you can truly balance education and family life as an older student.
Don’t worry, if you’re returning to school, we’re here to help. Here are five easy-to-follow tips for mature-age students about to boost their education:
1. Be Flexible With Your Learning Approach
It is entirely possible that you can embrace the traditional path of learning again. Going to school every day and becoming a full-time student can be wonderful for some adult learners. However, if you have a job and children to fit your study around, you may need to be a little more flexible with your approach. You may want to consider night classes or look into digital courses with online tutors and support. These days, everybody can learn in a way that suits their lifestyle, regardless of their age and responsibilities.
2. Be Open To Socializing
Later in life, we can feel we have all the loved ones we need, leaving us closed off to new friendships. The sad part of this is that you can miss out on enriching connections with others.
When learning, you will be exposed to new people just like you, who are all different ages. If you can, be open to socializing with them. At the very least, it’s nice to have others to connect with over your course and share advice and support throughout your learning experience.
3. Embrace Different Learning Styles
Information released within the last few years showed that we should be flexible in how we try to learn and take on new information. In our younger years, we may be told that we are an aural learner or a visual learner and can base our study style on that information.
In reality, studies show that pigeon-holing yourself into one learning style can actually hinder progress. Instead, trying different approaches is a much better idea, especially as a mature student who may have a harder time getting information to stick.
4. Recognize Your Strengths
Like whisky, balsamic vinegar, and denim, plenty of things get better with age. This maxim holds true with mature students. You have so much experience under your belt now. You’re probably much better at time-keeping, and you know what you want. This means you’re actually in a great position to learn now. Don’t forget how much of an asset your age really is in this new journey.
5. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
It’s important that you’re willing to connect with the student inside. The person who is capable of this new challenge, who is able to write essays, revise, and have a learning mindset.
Preparing for your new education with some practice essays, reading, and maybe even a refresher course, is a fantastic idea. Learning requires a certain state of mind and as a mature student, you have to be prepared to go back to that mindset again in order to settle into your new course.
Lots of people choose to return to school when they are older. Some because they have discovered a new passion, others because they are looking for a change in career. Follow our tips above, and prepare for this incredible new chapter. Going back to school as a mature student is going to be a challenge, but one with phenomenal rewards.