Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult

Boot up your laptop, organize your supplies and get ready to take notes. School is back in session!

If you are an adult who is planning to go back to school for continuing education, to complete a college degree or to study something new entirely, congratulations! As an adult returning to school, you have opportunities to explore your interests, increase your marketability and realize potential that you may have never realized was there.

If you are feeling nervous or intimidated about returning to your student status, that’s completely natural. You might be worried about how you will balance studying and assignments with work, family and free time. Or you might be afraid that you will struggle more with your scholastic abilities now than you did in your younger years.

But don’t fret. We’ve compiled a few tips that will help you as you embark on your new academic journey as an adult.

  • Find the right program for you. For most adult learners, school shares priority with other aspects of life like work or your children’s education. For this reason, many adult learners prefer programs that are easily accessible to them—such as online learning. With online learning, you can study and take your courses in the comfort of your own home without having to stray far from your normal routine.
  • Create a comfortable but efficient study space. As you are adapting to going back to school, you need your own study space that will help separate your school life from home or work life. It would be best if this was located some place other than your family room or a room where distractions and interruptions are common.
  • Form a study routine. Time management is key, especially when you are introducing school into your already-busy lifestyle. Set days and times when you will dedicate yourself to completing your coursework.
  • Do not hesitate to reprioritize. If something has compelled you to go back to school in your adult years, it must be a pretty important goal you have set for yourself. That means it is OK to make school a priority and say “no” to things you normally would have said “yes” to. There are only so many hours in the day, so it is inevitable that you will have to cut something from your routine to make time for school.
  • Ask for help if you need it. This may mean asking for help around the house from your children or significant other, or it may mean reaching out to fellow classmates or your professor if you need help academically. Either way, if you are struggling, do not shy away from your resources.
  • Schedule some down time. Do not overfill your schedule to the point where you do not have any time for rest or relaxation because that will only hurt you in the long run. For your own mental and physical well-being, make sure to leave time for yourself.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments. Did you make a good grade on a test? Or perhaps you completed your first class? Treat yourself to dinner or your favorite dessert. Celebrating small victories before diving back into your studies will motivate you to keep working hard.

At UWA Online, we welcome any and all learners looking to continue their education through our variety of web-based coursework. To see what classes we have to offer via our online programs, call 205-652-5100 or visit! #AdultLearners #BackToSchool #Tips #ContinuingEducation #UWAOnline #UniversityOfWestAlabama

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