Returning to college as a mature adult can bring on some daunting challenges. Just finding the time to attend classes can be difficult if you are employed and raising a family. Most adults heading off to college for the first time or after years away from the classroom worry about being able to compete academically with younger classmates. Because of these concerns, choosing the right course at the beginning of the education process can be important for the mature adult’s educational future.
Choose a course that is interesting or relevant to you.
Returning to school can be challenging enough without having to sit through lectures wondering why you are taking the class. Even if the class is not critical to your major, there is time to get the core classes in while letting an early class or two fall into the electives pile.
If the class matches what you need to improve your knowledge for your current job, it should pay immediate dividends plus contain enough familiar information to make it a little easier to perform well. If the class is interesting to you even if it is not related to your job, you should it easy to stay motivated to study and attend classes which are both important to developing the habits needed to succeed in college.
Choose your first classes from the introductory course list.
The low numbered classes on the course list are always more introductory in nature. These classes are designed to allow students an opportunity to learn the basics of the field of study that they introduce. Taking lower level classes offer you a chance for a running start into the college experience.
You may have some prior education or work experience that makes you believe that you should start higher up on the course list. While you might succeed taking this approach, it is usually better to be challenged a little less by the material while you are learning how to be in a classroom and pass tests again. The class work will get difficult enough within a semester or two. Give yourself a chance to learn a less during the time that you are becoming acclimated to the education system.
Try to take a few classes early on from a local institution that it is not so costly.
Going back to school can be expensive. Many of the online choices seem like they are loaded with convenience for you schedule and a savings on the gasoline bill. However, these institutions are very expensive compared to a local community college. The community college will offer at least some of the early courses that you need for any major that you plan to choose. Once you have two or three classes behind you, you will be better equipped to make the choice regarding what direction that you need to take for the remainder of your college education.
Stay away from classes that you know that you will struggle to master.
Eventually, you may need to tackle these courses. Taking them on at the beginning will almost always be a big mistake. If you have a math phobia, head off to some composition classes. You will have an opportunity to attack a math class or two when your educational confidence is several more rungs higher on the ladder. It will also give you some time to develop a few study buddies who can help you overcome the tougher classes.