When going back to school as a mature student, there are different challenges you will face. You may think it is too difficult to be able to start a second career and start this new chapter by going back to school. This is not reason to give up on finding a career that makes you happy, however. If you are going back to school, here are five tips that can help you take on this change.
Give Yourself Time To Adjust
It’s important, when going back to school as a mature student, to allow yourself the time to adjust to being back in the academic world. Coming from the workforce and returning to being a student can be jarring - be patient with yourself if this process takes some time to get used to, and if it feels overwhelming or difficult.
Identify Your Learning Style
The key to success when it comes to learning is to identify your learning style and stick to it. This can be difficult when you’ve been out of school for a while, you may not remember how you learned things best when you were last in school. Everyone learns differently.
If you find that you learn best through doing, rather than reading in a book or simply listening in a lecture style, you'll find success in a hands-on learning environment. Finding a school with smaller class sizes that offers a more immersive, hands-on learning style will make you not only more comfortable in you studies, but more knowledgable and successful once you head back into the workforce.
Focus On Time Management
School is hectic, and the longer you take to organize your life and create a schedule, the more everything will build up. Having a plan, although it may not always be realistic, will help with having time allotted for projects, assignments, and reading. Focusing on time management will relieve stress, and allow you to be the best student possible.
If you worry that your schedule is just too hectic to fit in going back to school, consider finding a school that offers part-time or night courses, which will allow you to fit your education into your life much more smoothly.
Don’t Be Embarrassed
Being too proud to ask for help doesn’t help. There are many resources on campus and online that will help with any uneasy feelings you may have as a mature student, so be sure to take advantage of them! At most schools, faculty members are committed to ensuring student success from the moment they walk through the door, to continued support after graduation.
Niagara Skilled Trades Academy is no different. The success of our students is our priority, and every memeber of the faculty is available for help, whether it be course content related, or if you are feeling unsure about your decision to switch careers. Don't be embarrassed to reach out, there is always someone who is available and happy to talk things through with you.
At the end of the day, you are all there for the same goal: to get an education. Allow that to be the forefront of your experience and keep things in perspective when you feel uneasy about being older than your classmates. Brush up on skills that you have in order to build your confidence, and let that help in classroom discussions - you have unique experiences to bring to the table.
If you are a mature student returning to school, the Halton and Niagara Skilled Trades Academy offers flexible schedules for our Gas Technician training courses to help help you succeed. Just remember to give yourself time to adjust, identify your learning style, focus on time management, don’t be embarrassed and embrace education. For more information on mature student enrollment and finding the courses for you, contact us. If you're ready to take this next step, click below to view our upcoming dates.