Recently my husband and I went out for dinner. When the waiter asked if I wanted anything from the bar, I declined, saying I had to be up early for class the next morning. His reply, “Oh cool, what do you teach?” I joked, “Today’s lesson is about your tip. I’m a student.”
Going back to school as an ‘older’ adult can be challenging to say the least. Many people are balancing families, jobs and other responsibilities; as well as, college. This means finding time for homework or even sleep can be a juggle.
One of the biggest challenges is time. Finding time to fit classes and homework into daily life can certainly be tricky. What do you do when your son or daughter or even a grandchild has little league and you have a paper to write? What if your boss approaches you to work overtime and you have homework waiting to be done? You’re going to gain a lot by attending the little league, possibly more than you will from writing that paper; and certainly you’re going to gain more money by working the overtime; but the best way to balance life’s responsibilities, along with school, is to stay on top of your school work.
Start your papers early, study daily, and set study guidelines for yourself. Set aside time each day to work on homework, perhaps at the same time your own children do theirs. Work on papers and projects a little each day rather than waiting till the last minute; this will ensure you’re not left in a crunch to get it done. If you’re balancing a job or career while going to school, take your homework along and work on it during breaks. Speak to other students in your class; and set up a system to call each other with questions when studying or working on projects.
Another challenge many people face in returning to school as an adult is reconditioning their brain to learn new things again and retain that information. Sure, we all have learned things over the years; but learning things that haven’t necessarily been used on a daily basis can be a little challenging.
“I find myself asking my family to quiz me and randomly repeating things I’m trying to memorize while I’m in the middle of playing Spiderman with my grandsons’; but I’m getting it. It’s working. The balance comes easier than I expected. “
A common fear many “older” adults face when returning to school is worrying if he or she will fit in and worrying if their going to be the oldest. However, there are many “older” students returning to school who are facing the same fears.
With on-line classes, evening and weekend classes; as well as the traditional day classes, schools have made the availability of attending much easier than it was years ago.
Returning to school can be a great source of pride; along with the excitement of meeting new people and learning new skills; it also provides a great sense of accomplishment; as well as providing a person with a sense of renewed spirit and feeling of self worth.