You have made the momentous decision to return to education. You are probably excited and looking forward to the challenge, but also a little bit unsure, at the same time. Education has changed a great deal in recent years, and technology is one of the reasons for this change. Another way that education has changed, is that students take more responsibility for their own learning, in other words teaching is not just the tutor, or lecturer spouting forth, at the front of the class, learning, today, is students discussing and interacting together, for everyone’s benefit. One thing that will ease your nerves is to have the items you need to study successfully.
There is no need to go out and buy up the stationary shop. You should get a folder to keep your work tidy. Some foolscap notebooks, and small notebooks, for taking notes, when you go on visits or are in circumstances that are not conducive to large books.
You will, of course, need pens and pencils, et cetera. You should also buy some highlighter pens in different colours, these are useful for highlighting points that you particularly want to remember, in lecture notes and handouts.
Buy yourself some index cards, used for filing, indexing, or “Rotadex”, systems. They are useful to make short notes and key references on; they will be invaluable at exam time, when you are revising.
A personal computer is a good thing, but a laptop would be better, you can take notes on it, or use organizing software, to keep your lesson times, dates, when work needs submitting, revision timetable, as well as all your personal and domestic arrangements in one place. Organizing yourself properly is a real help when, as an adult student, you are juggling your life, job, family, and home with your studies, because you can ensure that you give enough time to each and do not get in a muddle.
You will need a brief case, bag, or basket to keep and carry everything in. At least then, all your things for study are in one place.
You should always make sure that you have some money on you, when you go to your class or lecture. You might want to buy a drink, or something to eat, on campus.
Textbooks are expensive, if friends and family ask, what you would like for birthdays and Christmas; ask for book tokens, they will help your budget. Do not buy every textbook on the reading list, until you have met your tutor for each subject. You do not necessarily need all the books on the list. Tutors are aware, that adult students are short of money, they will tell you which books are really necessary and which would just be nice to have. You do not have to buy books from the bookshop, you could buy them on-line, borrow them from the public library, or buy them second hand. Some tutors have an arrangement with a bookseller, where, because of the amount of books needed for the course, the tutor buys them in bulk, and gets a discount and students can buy them from him, or her, at a reduced rate.
One way to ease your natural nerves, when returning to study, is to have the things that you need to study. If you have the above items, you will be prepared to make the most of your course, and succeed in your studies.