We never know what circumstances we encounter in life, which does not give us the chance to prepare for events that affect our future. For example, some people are unable to go directly to college after they graduate high school. It is not something that we anticipate, but in the US it is a common occurrence.
With college tuitions rising every year, it is getting harder and harder to acquire a tertiary education that can help access better jobs. The most pressing part about is that people have to sustain themselves in the interim of not going to school by getting a job – a job that can take a huge chunk out of their lives.
This means that when the opportunity presents itself for them to finally go to school, they usually end up starting college as a mature student.
Studying as a mature student
When you arrive at a mature age and decide to go to school, there are many obstacles that may make you doubt your decision. The truth is that there is no specific age for going to college. All you need is a high school diploma or a GED certification.
If you are a mature student looking to study, you do not have to worry about being too late or not having enough time. There are many opportunities for you because the degrees in schools are designed, not just for younger students. You can also get a degree for a mature student, which in essence, is a certification for a field of study that anyone can acquire – provided that they pass, that is.
For a mature student, degree classes are not any different than what you would have taken in the past. Studying as a mature student is just like studying if you were younger. There are just a few key differences that may seem obvious, but it’s usually not, such as:
- You have to socialize with younger people.
This is not a very big deal. Some people may discriminate you by your age, but that is just a handful of people that can easily be dealt with – by being the bigger person. Most college students these days don’t care about the age of their classmates. All they care about is whether or not you can work with them in an academic setting.
- You may need to get updated on the learning methods.
Since it has been a long time since you went to school, you need to be aware that things have changed a lot. If you have kids, you may have an idea of what is new in the classrooms. If not, you need to familiarize yourself with how things work nowadays. For example, most schools use digital learning systems like tablets and laptops in class. Another important example is that most schools assign more work and research assignments.
- You will have to get used to the idea that you may be the oldest person in class.
It is not really an issue, but people will notice. Do not feel pressured by this fact. Of course you are one of the exceptional individuals in the campus. You are not alone because every person has their own identifying traits and your maturity will soon fade away, allowing you to show that you are simply a student who wants to start learning more about your chosen field of study.
- You may have other responsibilities that need attending.
Unless you planned to study without having to do anything else, you may be juggling a few responsibilities. You may have a full time job or a family to take care of. You might be managing a writing services or undergoing a crisis at home. There is no telling what you are facing when you are at an age with priorities that cover more than your college education.
How can you adapt?
There are many ways for you to integrate yourself into the academic environment even if you’re of a mature age. Since the obstacles you are facing are simply mental, and not physical, you will survive and thrive in your new college career.
For that very reason, we have come up with some tips that can help you along the way:
- Establish a schedule for all of your activities.
This includes the activities that revolve around your home and social life. You must always put time management as your first priority. If you do not do this, you may be burnt out by the end of your first week at school. Make time for rest periods and always leave at least one day a week to focus on yourself without any schoolwork or job obligations.
- Have a social life.
The reason why any students quit college is because they were focused too much on their social lives. On the other end of the spectrum, some students quit because they did not cultivate any kind of social life at all. You need to find a balance that suits you, in order for you to assimilate properly, while still maintaining your work ethic in or out of school.
- Don’t forget yourself.
The most important thing to remember is that you have to take care of yourself. Never compromise your health or your mind just to pass a class. If it does not work out, it will in the future. You just have to keep trying, rather than pushing yourself to do something that is not beneficial to your well-being. Exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, and keep the pressure off by destressing using your favorite activities.
Being a mature student is not an important label. You are just a person who is finally ready to learn more and do more in life. Don’t be afraid of what comes after the enrollment. Go ahead and reach those goals you’ve been aiming for!