If you are considering going back to school, but are frightened that it may be the wrong choice for you, then you really need to sit down and think carefully about your options. There are many potential difficulties associated with going back into education as a mature student, especially if it is full-time, but most of these can be overcome with some preparation. There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t let fear stop you going back to school.
Age is not a problem
Often, the initial fear when thinking about going back into education is that everyone around you is going to be so much younger. However, you may well find that there are classmates who are in a similar situation to you and already have a family, a career and other responsibilities. Even if they are all younger, you can be a mother or father figure to them. The first day or two may be difficult, but you will soon settle in. If it really is a problem for you, then consider online learning.
Finances can be sorted
The thought of going back to school and giving up a regular salary can be a terrifying prospect, especially if you don’t have the savings to back you up. However, there is almost certainly a way around this if you think about it carefully. You could, for example, consider going to school part-time, or even asking your employer if they will partially fund you. An online course may be another option; you can learn in your own time at a much lower cost.
Think of the future
There must be a reason that you are considering going back to school and it is probably because you are hoping to further your career in the future. There may be some things that you need to sacrifice initially – money and time for a start – but in the long run, you will benefit. Try to think in terms of what you will get out of it, rather than what you have to give up in the meantime. If you’re worried about losing your job, then once again, if you consider long-distance or part-time learning, you may not have to give it up at all.
Consider it a new challenge
It is easy to become stuck in a rut, especially if you have a house to run. Remember that most changes in your life are initially frightening, but that without them, you would never really progress. Going back to school will provide you with a huge challenge, but it will also motivate you and you could find yourself doing things as a result that you would not otherwise have considered. It could just be the change that you need to kickstart your career and ensure that you achieve exactly what you want in the future.
Technology should not be feared
Most adults appreciate that their younger counterparts are going to be more technically advanced. However, there is often nothing that cannot be learned with some assistance. And you may just find that your ability to use word processing skills stands you in good stead when it comes to putting together an assignment – you will probably be better at basic computer tasks like formatting and proofreading your work simply because you have had to do it on a daily basis at work.
Mature learners are often more dedicated than younger ones
If you’ve taken the plunge to go back to school, then you have done so because you really want to. That will be an immediate advantage over your younger classmates, who will probably not have put an awful lot of thought into why they are studying and what their overall aim is. You will be much more dedicated than they are, because you will understand the value of the money you are paying to study and you will have a good idea of exactly what you want to achieve following the end of the course.
Going back to school can certainly be a daunting prospect, but that really isn’t a reason to put it on the back-burner, or forget the idea completely. If you have doubts, then take the time to think through all the different angles and work out exactly what you need to have in place to bring your dream to reality.