Three Tips For Adult College Students
More adults than ever before are returning to college after years of being in the workforce. It seems harder and harder to locate a good job with only a high school degree and years of experience under your belt.
Along with this shift in our societal view of what “education” means, the unpredictable economy has made it almost a necessity to reconsider our careers.
So, you’ve taken the plunge. What next? You knew it wouldn’t be easy to balance all of your responsibilities, but there are ways to make your life run more smoothly.
Here are my top three must-do’s for the adult learner. I know that of which I speak…I went back to school again a few years ago after being out for more years than I will admit here. All of these are things I wish I would have done more of!
Shift Your Perspective
It’s human nature to get totally wrapped up in our version of “reality,” and it can be a good thing sometimes to be that focused on a goal. But much of the time, it only serves to make us stressed out and miserable. So, when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, stop and ask yourself what the most important thing is.
Are you spending the most focused time & energy on the things that really matter to you, that will still be there when college is a distant memory? What is your priority? Must the garden be weeded today? What will really happen if you don’t ace every single exam? Can the kitchen be mopped later? When your to-do list is as long as your arm, and you feel like crying, stop, take a deep breath and remember why you returned to school in the first place.
Schedule Time for Yourself
I know this is easier said than done, but hey, I never said these were going to be easy tips, right? The best way I have found to make this a reality instead of something that just sounds good is to physically schedule “me time” on my calendar.
If someone asks you what you are doing on Wednesday at 10, you don’t have to tell them you are getting a mani-pedi or that you are taking a yoga class. You just need to tell them (and yourself) that you have an appointment that must be kept. Once you get the hang of etching out this time, you will wonder how you ever lived without it! Promise!
Shut That Book
Okay, now, I am a college instructor, so it is really hard for me to give this advice, but here it is. There are going to be times, maybe every single day, when you are going to have to choose what is really most important: College grades or _______. Sleep, family, you fill in the blank.
books for school
And I’m here to tell you that I should have chosen the “other thing” much more often than I did. The ugly truth is, you can’t do it all, no matter how many hours a day you work. So, you graduate with a 3.9 GPA. Who cares? Cut yourself some slack, decide you have studied long enough today, shut the book and go play with your kids!
Jacqueline Myers is a long-time college English instructor who also provides expert tips, tricks & techniques for successful college writing and research at Nitty-Gritty English.
Her life’s work has been dedicated to guiding students through the messy world of writing, grammar, literature and research. She is a proud contributing writer for American Educational Guidance Center.