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Tips for Returning Students — Advice for Older Individuals that Go Back
to School for their College Degree
Employers are beginning to shift their qualification standards that only those holding a college degree or a formal academic training could possibly pass. Although experience remains a clear advantage of older jobseekers, human resource management officers tend to strictly follow employer’s set of standards that is biased to college degree holders. This reality pushed older people to go back to college.
While many wasted no time to enroll in a college course, a lot of adults find joining a class full of teenagers too awkward to bear. The fear of going back to college is the major cause why some employees remained stagnant in a lowly position and would probably stay that way until they retire. Those who dared to return to the classroom but failed to overcome the age gap ended up failing to get their much needed degree.
Here are practical tips for older students planning to go back to school. These are derived from my own personal experience and from several readings available in the Internet.
1. Use Your Age As An Advantage
Being ten years older or more is a huge advantage. Think of the wealth of your experiences and understanding of how things work compared to an 18-year-old freshman. While younger people can memorize faster than most older people do, keep in mind that you have known many things before they had a chance to encounter such knowledge. Mathematically, older students have lesser information to memorize. Your wealthy experience provides a wider understanding of how things are done because and there is always the benefit of hindsight.
2. You are more Motivated
Eyeing for a promotion or a higher-paying job drives adults to earn a college degree. This motivation works stronger than what young students aim which is commonly to land on a job. Adult students are sure that earning a degree has far more real benefits than young students who are yet to experience getting paid for a job.
3. You Have A Role To Play In Class
Adult students provide a balance in the diversity of knowledge inside a classroom. Encouraging and leading study groups lets you learn new things in tandem with your young counterparts. In most cases, older students are antidotes to the domination of the teacher in a classroom. Teachers or instructors normally accord a higher respect to older students and would normally avoid using “terror” tactics when adults are around.
4. You Have More Resources To Afford College
Having been gainfully employed, adult students could better afford paying college fees, books and learning materials. Compared to young students who are depending on their parents to subsidize their education, adult students have savings or income to spend for their own needs. Availability of more resources enables us to device better study methods.
5. Manage Your Time Well
Most adult students failed to get their college degree because they failed to manage their time. Overconfidence is the main culprit behind the failure of adults returning to college. Relying on mere stock knowledge to pass a test is their most common mistake.
Prioritizing the demands of your job is normal, but allocating too little time to study would, in the end, defeat your goal to finish college. One should not allow the thinking “Anyway, I am already earning!” to water down the passion to achieve a dream.
6. Returning To College Is A Right
Age should never be an issue in the pursuit of academic achievements. No one should be discriminated in the campus because of his or her age. In fact, continuing education is already mandated in areas such as law, medical sciences, business management and engineering. This should erase the perceived awkwardness of being an adult student.
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