The Scary World of Going Back to School: Five Essential Tips For Returning Students

Returning to school can be a daunting prospect, and it's more scary the longer you've been out. Some people even consider going to undergraduate for the first time, particularly if lessons were not required to get a similar position when they were younger. Here are a few ways to make the transition a little easier.

Start Slow

Start with one class at a time. If you are getting an online degree, it will be very easy to do. There are a few reasons for starting slow. First you've been out of school for a while, so you'll need some time to get back in the groove. Additionally, you need to determine exactly how much you can handle each semester. You may have more responsibilities now that you're older that will greatly affect your ability to spend the time needed on school.

Talk with Your Professor

Let your professors know that you're coming back to school. Having taught college classes, I find that it's much easier if I know going in who is just starting back to school. I am better able to help them navigate the murky waters of the college and direct them on how to deal with the class load and deadlines. If you begin having trouble, always talk to your teacher as quickly as possible so that they will still be able to help you.

Be Disciplined

I've learned that people coming back to school are usually more disciplined than those who have never left. Effort is important to your professors, and if a work or personal emergency arises, they're more likely to give you a break if you have been working hard the rest of the time. If you're anything like my previous students who returned to school, though, you should have no problem in this area.

Meet Other Students

Sometimes returning to school can be awkward since many of the students will likely be younger than you. Get to know them, anyway. Number one, they probably know more about the university environment and procedures than you. Number two, they could use someone with more real world experience as a mentor. Plus, the advantages of studying in groups or with a partner are boundless, and you should definitely take advantage of these opportunities.

Work Ahead

Since you're returning to school, you probably have more responsibilities than other students, and you'll want to make sure that you can be dedicated to all your commitments. Working ahead will keep you from getting behind if a work or personal emergency arises. You'll be able to take a deep breath and know everything will be okay when your daughter gets the flu the day before a paper's due if you already have most of the project completed.

Top Five Tips for Returning Students

Start Slow

Talk with Your Professor

Be Disciplined

Meet Other Students

Work Ahead