There are numerous reasons why you may be forced to cease studying, and then want to pick it up at a later date. Life gets busy, work opportunities come up, or health emergencies can make it difficult to continue. There’s no reason why you can’t return to study once the situation has changed however, though some people are intimidated by the prospect. Post-high school study is often seen as a thing to do while young, and there can be some stigmas around being an older student. But coming to study at an older age gives you a determination and appreciation for learning, that younger students often lack.
It can be a testing transition going from a lifestyle of complete independence to suddenly having homework, assignments and set classes again. A number of things can make this easier, here are some tips.
1. Choose a workload that fits into the rest of your life. Most study institutions are very understanding of students who cannot study fulltime, and will allow you to complete a qualification over a longer period with less intensive hours. It’s important that you balance your various commitments so that you make the most of your study time, as well as keeping up with living costs and demands. Some people may find it’s easier and less stressful to cut down on other work entirely and simply focus on study for a year, so you may wish to consider this option as well – some statistics show that part-timers can struggle to complete their qualification.
2. Get prepared and understand what the course will involve. Though most course guidelines will list reading requirements and essays, they may not mention week-to-week homework and assignments and how much work these will be. You can email the professor, teacher or tutor in charge of the course for a more comprehensive picture of the workload. If you can find reading lists, try to do as much reading as possible before the lessons begin – one of the things that often catches returning students off guard is the sheer amount of reading required.
3. Stay focused on your own path. It can feel strange to be surrounded by almost exclusively younger students, but the key is to keep focused on your own work and progress. You’re there for yourself, to grow your skills and develop new knowledge. It’s fine if you don’t become particularly involved in student events or life, as long as you feel comfortable and happy on campus. These tips offer some ideas for keeping focused and thriving on campus.
Returning to study can be a challenge for some, but it’s worth it to gain a new qualification or gain what you may have missed out on last time. Plan well, undertake only what you can balance with the rest of your life and stay focused.