Basic Skills Needed to go Back to College

I returned to school in my late 50s to study psychology. It had always been a passion of mine. Fortunately, I had done well many years before in high school, and I had continued reading and learning about psychology over the decades, so my confidence level was high. Only working part-time and having raised my family, I made the decision to take on college late in life.

Basic skills were not a problem. I could think, read, write, and articulate. I could manage my time and organize my school and work routine. I’d had years of computer experience, so I knew I was not lacking there. My basic skills were covered, I thought, but there was more to be considered.

I needed to be able to analyze what I was doing, and why. In order to be sure the path I was on would not waste time and money, I needed to be fully aware of my strengths and capabilities, as well as my weaknesses and dislikes. It was necessary to be absolutely sure I was suited to the type of work I wanted to do before I spent valuable resources on a degree.

Searching for a good school also required some skill. It was not easy and became a bit frustrating when more choices came my way. Comparing a number of schools, their programs, and their costs was more difficult than I imagined. Discussions with school representatives and academic and financial advisors helped steer me in the right direction and got my options perfectly clear. The school and funding search process gave me a few more basic skills.

Because of my advancing age and distance from institutions that offered what I wanted, I chose online schooling. It turned out to be the best option for me, and allowed me to continue working while I was studying. I gained valuable knowledge, two degrees, and I’m working toward another. So far, the quest for higher education has been very positive.

Here are the basics needed if you’re going back to college –

* self-analysis skills – determining your best educational or career path
* sufficient educational background acquired through high school or GED diploma
* basic awareness of college expenses and budgeting skills
* ability to seek and obtain adequate sources of funding
* motivation
* patience
* organizational and time-management skills
* reading, writing, reasoning skills
* basic mathematic skills
* ability to follow directions – of utmost importance
* computer skills sufficient to use an Internet browser and word processors
* determination to learn and succeed

These skills are not necessarily difficult and are basic to maximizing your college experience no matter where you are on the timeline of life.

Although it is not a basic skill, age is often an advantage when you return to school. There is a benefit to having more experience to share, and gives you a little edge when it comes to your history classes!