Are you thinking of returning to school but you’re unsure if this is the right decision? Are you working full-time and trying to figure out how school will fit into your schedule? Making that decision can be really difficult (trust me, I know).
Being an adult student and trying to balance everyday life, especially as a very seasoned adult due to even more responsibilities, can be daunting. You have work… Well, worry no longer! Below are 5 simple things that will help you get back into the swing of things and get you rolling right onto the honor roll:
1) Get to Know Your Advisor
Knowing who your advisor is should be your first step when going back to school and it is also (possibly) your most important step. Your advisor is there to pretty much do what their title says, and that is to advise you. Your advisor can help you figure out what you should do, what your next steps should be and he/she is there to listen to any questions or concerns you may have in order to help you through your courses.
2) Learn the System/Surroundings
Going back to school may mean going online. At the very least, expect to encounter a learning management system (LMS) like Blackboard or Moodle. Most of your professors will use those. The school systems are sometimes used for submitting course work, taking a course, finding articles and signing up for courses. It’s best to play around with the system as soon as you have access. Many of the systems come with a tutorial that is very helpful. Knowing your way around campus is a must as well. There is nothing fun about getting lost. Especially when you’ve been at work all day, so the last thing you want to be is tired, lost, late and frustrated. Many colleges and universities have online maps available that you can print out for your personal reference.
3) Manage Your Time
Work, work, work, work, work, work! (Rihanna’s voice) is what you will be singing after leaving work only to do more work. But it’s okay because it will all pay off in the end! Having good time management skills is key and very crucial when it comes to being an adult learner. If you have a family, always make sure that home is taken care of so there is one less thing you have to worry about during class. And you can check-in during breaks in-between sessions (if you’re going on campus). Figure out a good time that works for you to get your course work done ahead of time or on-time. It can be during your lunch break, before bed, etc. Having your assignments done on-time instead of during crunch-time is one less headache. I know that some of you may be Procrastination Princesses like me, but trust me when I say that being this way is a royal pain in the a**! So be better than me! Also, plan your schedule because if you are driving to the campus, parking can become very scarce when you are cutting it close. Make sure on class nights you have something worked out with your supervisor and that they are informed of your higher-education plans.
4) Find a Study Buddy
When I say there is nothing like a study buddy, I mean, there is nothing like having a study buddy! Do you hear me?! There will be plenty of events for part-time students and this will be your chance to go mingle and find other students that are doing the same thing you are doing. The key is to link-up with people who either have the same major as you or someone that has to take the same core courses (by the time you get to your electives you should be fine as core courses in most cases seem to be more challenging). You and your study buddy can help each other through the courses and motivate each other.
Fun Fact: My older brother decided to go back to school during my time as an undergrad and we tackled sssoooo many classes together. From group projects to presentations, you name it and we did it as a team! It worked out so great as we are both adults who have schedules that are similar. It sucked when we finally had to part ways due to having different majors but we made it through.
5) Get and Stay Organized
I know after working all day and dealing with personal things is can be so UGH! But you CAN NOT get lazy when it comes to organizing your school work. It’s like showing up to a meeting without your notes and pen. (Do you really want to be that person?! Don’t be that person!) It’s great to keep everything organized so you can keep track of your classes and if you ever need to go back and reference something in the future. Trying to figure out where your papers are can become one less stressor when you have your files in order. You can also make your organizing fun by just taking a little trip to staples or 5 & Below and buying all the cool and cute stuff to keep you interested.
I also like to buy different color books with funky folders to match for each course. My math books are always the easiest for me to find as since the beginning of time they have always been black. And not because it’s my fav color. It’s because black is also that color that signifies death. I absolutely HATE math lol. Very often in those classes I would find myself gazing out the window and wondering a) if I jump, how badly will I hurt myself b) will my next assignment be postponed or will they simply pass me due to my unfortunate mishap or c) will my unfortunate mishap end up being on the next pop quiz under the velocity section lol.
All in all, just follow these simple 5 steps and you will be A ok! Chin up and pinkies up, Queens! Let me know if you have any good tips for going back to school. Leave me a comment below.