Learning how to remain focused as a mature student can be a major challenge in studying, as it often requires concentration on something new and different. According to Dictionary.com, the focus of something is “a central point, as of attraction, attention or activity”.
Can mature students focus or concentrate on their studies for long periods? Is memory a factor that contributes to lack of focus? How to remain focused can be problematic for mature students, but even young students can have difficulty focusing. For mature students, whose lives are complex and demanding, especially those involved or committed elsewhere, plus the burden of returning to studies after many years of raising children or working on different jobs, it can be difficult. According to dictionary.com, the word concentration suggests “the act of concentrating” or “paying exclusive attention to one object” or with respect to students, “the focusing of a student’s academic program on advanced study in a specific subject or field.”
What can you as a mature student do to resolve problems related to lack of focus or poor concentration when studying? Perhaps time management is one factor and more effective time management can help solve the problem.
Seek help from your teacher, professor or instructor if you find that you find difficulty focusing or concentrating on your studies and do not understand why. They may be willing to make allowances for mature students needing time to adjust to studying after being out of an academic environment for a long time. Mentoring or tutoring may be an appropriate solution if you cannot focus on course material because of a lack of understanding or interest.
Accept the responsibility as a mature student to recognize, diagnose and find a way to remedy your focusing problems. Determine what is distracting you or diverting your attention. For example, is it your television? Maybe it is your spouse, children or grandchildren. Do you allow continual interruptions, telephone calls, e-mails or visitors who demand your attention? Spending time discussing the importance of your studies with others may make a difference.
Ask yourself why your attention is drifting. Do you lack of primary motivation? In other words, would you as a mature student prefer to do something else or be elsewhere? Research can lead you to a new source of motivation and help redefine your goals.
Fatigue from sleep deprivation can be a major factor with respect to being unable to focus or concentrate. Rearrange your study schedule so you get more sleep at night or have rest periods during the day. Take breaks while studying in order to refocus. Walking, swimming or cycling will reinvigorate you. Be careful what you eat and drink as over indulgence in food, alcohol or other substances, or even thirst and hunger can prove distracting. Other health related factors like a lack of vitamins, or serious problems may need assessment by a medical professional.
Is the age or maturity of students a major factor with respect to focusing on academic courses or programs? No. Should it determine the ultimate success of a mature student? No. Your ingenuity as a mature student should help you to overcome focusing or concentration problems when you are studying.