I have decided twice to go back to college. It certainly is a big decision to make especially when you are weighing the benefits up your present circumstances against the loss of income and independence which college life demands. There are however, several things that you can do to ease the transition.
Make sure to research your interests. Before making your decision you should be absolutely sure what your area of interest is. Sometimes this may be a few areas, but you should be sure that you are willing to pursue any path on this short list. This will allow you to focus your search for an appropriate college.
Realistically evaluate your suitability to develop in this area. This is not only a matter of whether you are academically suited to the field, but consider also your family situation, your age, as well as the time it will take for you to develop in an area. For example it may be a difficult path to train to be a pediatrician (which may take 8 years) starting at the age of forty, and develop a successful practice versus a career as an accountant which may take 3 years. It’s not that it can’t be done; but the odds are less.
You will have to plan your finances well. Especially at an older age and if you have a family it is important to make adequate preparation. These factors may limit your available time making part time education a better option. Check several potential colleges and other sources that can provide information on possible financial assistance.
It is also a good idea to seek advice from those who are going through similar experiences. Most colleges have student organizations that cater for the more mature students. This can be a great source of information to help you make wise decisions and avoid many of the pitfalls.
After you have made your decision, apply early. Also in the event you are called for interviews make sure to present you age as an asset. You are not old, but rather you have a lot of life and work experience. Also enlist the help of friends and relatives who can be very supportive for example as guardians for your children when this is necessary.
I wish you best of luck on your journey. It is a frightening decision for many, but it’s never too late.
Yours for Learning