Enrolling in a course for the first time is challenging for most students, but if you’ve been in the workforce for a few years or have a family, it can be terrifying. While adults returning to study might feel as though they are embarking into unchartered territory, this isn’t the case.
You are joining the hundreds of other students who have returned to the classroom later in life. Fortunately, there are more than a few ways to help ease the concerns of returning to study as an adult.
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Here are 10 important things you should know.
1. You Are Not Alone
Each year, hundreds of qualifications and certifications are earned by mature age students who are just as busy and financially-constricted as you are. You are fortunate to complete your course now when flexible study resources for adult learning are varied.
What is one of the best resources you have? Your family, friends and fellow students. One of the realities of adults returning to study is the need to put some things on hold. It helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and you have the full support of those around you.
Put measures in place to cope with your absence and let family and friends assist. If you intend to continue working as you study, get the support of your colleagues to ensure that you have someone to rely on.
2. Study Without Distraction
Online study allows you to study flexibly, at any place or time that best suits you. Many adult learning courses are designed specifically for busy professionals and stay-at-home parents. In order to avoid any distractions, encourage your kids to do their homework at a similar time.
Turn off any electronic devices such as mobile phones and the TV while you study. Don’t make any excuses for not finishing your homework. This way, you can still be in a comfortable environment and stay motivated.
3. Keep Your Laptop Charged
This is a lesson well worth repeating. Always keep your laptop and other devices used for study fully charged wherever you go. When taking an online course, any time could be a good time to get your homework done.
If your laptop is not in use, keep it charged and ready in the case of an emergency situation.
4. Know Where the Wi-Fi Is
Students enrolled in online adult learning courses should know a number of reliable and familiar backup Wi-Fi locations. This could be a local library or cafe, you’d be surprised how widely connected you can be once you pay attention.
With Wi-Fi, you can study anytime, anywhere. Read a chapter while finishing lunch, solve a problem at soccer training or ask a tutor a question on the trip home.
5. You Can Upskill or Start New
The concerns of returning to study as an adult can be overwhelming. But taking a refresher course to upskill in areas where you lack confidence or recent experience is the best way to build an academic foundation for the rest of your career.
Even if some of the material in an introductory course might be redundant, adult learning is a pivotal experience that can reinforce and polish up your current skill set to improve your career potential. Online adult learning courses will allow you to get through the material at a pace that suits you.
6. Focus on the Qualification
The benefits of getting a qualification as a mature age student should be about acquiring professional credentials and competencies. Choose the best institute to achieve this, not the institute with the biggest name. If a hands-on approach is right for you, consider enrolling in a Diploma of Project Management.
You have already proven that you have what it takes to secure a job; now focus on broadening your skill set instead.
7. Be Realistic
One of the golden rules of being a student is that you only get out of it what you put in. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you will receive a poor mark. Some mature age students can suffer from a lack of confidence or feel out of their depth as a result. The key is to aim high and understand that it may take some time to get back into it.
8. Set A Clear Goal
Adults returning to study often know exactly where they are headed career-wise. A course that does not directly enhance your prospects is a waste of time and money. It is important to focus all of your efforts into achieving success through proper training.
Without a clear goal and structure, it can be easy to lose focus. Effective goal setting puts you in the driver’s seat with the opportunity to transform your own life into whatever direction you desire. To accomplish your goals, you need to carefully set, monitor and review them.
9. Pros & Cons? Neither!
Despite the concerns of returning to study as an adult, mature age students rarely regret getting back on the pathway to a qualification. More often they will regret not engaging in adult learning sooner! If you are thinking about going back to the classroom someday, why not today?
If you are motivated enough to write an extensive ‘pro and con’ list about taking an online course, then you can be motivated enough to return to the classroom and experience the difference yourself.
10. You Only Learn By Learning
A recognised course will show you new ways of thinking and the importance of education, and going back to study will teach you more about how to go back to study than anything you read ever could.