You’ve finally decided to return to school to further your education. Whether you’re working on a training certificate or an MBA, however, there are some things you must consider to make your return to school smooth and to reduce stress. Read on to learn about a few of them.
Look for Online Options
These days, affordable online education is a real possibility. Many programs are offered fully online, and one of these in your field can save you time and give you more flexibility. To determine if online education is right for you, think about your level of discipline. You will have to take charge of your own learning and commit to motivating yourself. If this may be an issue for you, a traditional classroom setting might be best, or you could choose a hybrid that offers an online format with regular class meetings.
Before you start any program, online or otherwise, make sure that it is accredited. If you’re pursuing a certificate or degree with an eye toward a specific career move, this is especially important. The lack of accreditation may make people dismiss your new credentials, and this could be extremely disappointing and even hinder your career. If you have any doubts about the accreditation of a program, ask questions before you start. Also, make sure that any accreditation the program does have is sufficient for your goals, for there are many different kinds of accreditation.
Tuition is always a major concern for adults heading back to class. You are going to have to pay the price for your education one way or another, but you should look for programs that offer competitive tuition. Keep an eye open for tuition discounts, too, and talk to admissions counselors about financial aid opportunities and low-interest loans. Some programs offer good deals to working adults trying to further their careers.
Set Good Study Habits
When you start your program, develop good study habits right from the very first day. First and foremost, never procrastinate. In fact, stay ahead on your reading and assignments if at all possible. Talk to your family about your need for quiet, uninterrupted study time, too, and when you get this, don’t waste it. Minimize distractions, and get down to work. This will take discipline, of course, but if you want to succeed in your program, you’ll simply have to get into a routine of studying.
Of course, studying is not the only thing you have to do. As a working adult with family obligations, you must find a balance in your life. This means staying organized. Purchase a paper planner or get a good app for your phone, and use it constantly. At the beginning of every semester, read through your syllabus thoroughly, and enter all due dates into your planner. Add appointments and your daily to-do list so that you can keep track of everything going on.
Heading back to school as a busy adult isn’t easy, but it can help you progress toward your goals. So follow these tips to get started on your new adventure.