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Tips for Adult Learners

Coming back to school can seem overwhelming, but here are some tips to make the journey a little easier.

Time Management

When going back to school as an adult you have a lot of responsibilities... a job, possibly kids, maybe a significant other, house work, and so much more. Time management will be your best friend. Set a schedule for yourself, and have a set time for homework, housework, etc.

Make Lists

Keep yourself organized and on track by making lists. This will help to make sure you don’t forget anything. There are apps and tools to help with this like Remember the Milk or My Life Organized. Google Keep is also a great option.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities

No matter your age there is possible financial help. You should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You should also look into reputable sites for scholarship opportunities like Scholarship Central. You will want to fill out the scholarship application for the college that you are applying for; ours can be found here. If you are currently employed, talk to your employer about possible opportunities for tuition assistance or reimbursement.

Use Your Resources

There are so many resources available to you for help as a college student; make sure you take advantage of them. You can find out about some of those resources here.

Mark Milestones

Going back to school can seem like a long road and an impossible journey, so make sure you focus on one milestone at a time. Like the old saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” You need to do the same with your college journey; focus on finishing one assignment or one class at a time, and celebrate each little milestone along the way.

Know How You Learn Best

Everyone learns a little differently. You may be a visual learner, a hands-on learner, or maybe you learn best by reading and writing. Understanding this will help you to know how you should study and maybe even what type of classes to take. If you are a more hands-on/visual learner, online classes may not be the best option for you. You may already know what type of learner you are. If you don’t know, try taking a quiz to see what type of learner you might be.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

The saying is true, there is no such thing as a stupid question. We learn by asking questions. If you are unsure of something never be afraid to ask.

Set Realistic Goals

You may seem excited and want to bite off more than you can chew. Make sure as you begin your journey that you consider all of your responsibilities as you determine your class load and set SMART goals. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. You can learn how to set SMART goals here.

Build Your Support Network

Going back to school as an adult can seem challenging no matter what your circumstances are, so be sure to find someone that will support you in this journey. It may be family, friends, your boss, or your co-workers, but having someone cheering you on will help to make sure you keep focused.

Technical Knowledge

Technology changes quickly! Homework that used to be completed using books and pens is now done using the internet and Google suite. If you want to brush up on those skills, our Workforce Development department has classes to help you brush up on those basic computer skills. You can also go to our Resources for Adults section to see a demo of our online learning management system.

Get Involved

As an adult student, you don’t have tons of spare time to fill, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be engaged! If there is a special event on campus that you can attend, try to be there. If you can get together with classmates to study instead of reviewing by yourself, do it. The more engaged you are with the school community, the more successful you will be. If you have the extra time, you should definitely look into some of our clubs.

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