Are You Going Back to College?

I wanted to interrupt my series today for a time sensitive piece on going back to college. One thing that has been on my mind lately due to a few conversations is the idea of going back to college. I was speaking with a friend that’s considering going back to school. In the conversation was another person that’s definitely going back to school and one person that went back in his late 20s. It was an interesting little discussion. I picked up some cool pointers for an article.

Are you going back to college this semester? I wanted to share some tips so that you assimilate back into the college environment successfully.

(Note: I’m going to assume that you’re a bit more mature and older person that’s looking to get back into college for the sake of this article.)

Consider taking night classes.

You’ll find a more mature crowd in college courses during the evening time sessions. You want to avoid the awkwardness and the jam-packed classes during the day time. It’s a more mature and intimate setting in the evening time. There are less students and the professors spend more time on solving problems with the students, instead of just lecturing for three hours straight.

Schedule in one hour study sessions.

If you’re going back to college and keeping your current full-time job, you’re going to have to manage your schedule so that you don’t fall behind with your studies. I personally went through this process myself so I can relate with practical tips.

My best tip is to hit the library with a watch (or iPad or whatever you use). I set the timer for one hour and work on all major school work that needs to be done. The amazing part is that this hour usually flies by and you’re eager to continue working. I’m a huge proponent of the hour study blocks. Give it a try.

Avoid the noise.

There’s going to be many distractions. As a more mature person you’re going to have to ignore all the plans to get wasted after class or the rumors about who’s doing who around campus. You have to remember to ignore this noise. You already had your fun in your early 20s and now you’re here to get an education so that you can increase your income.

When in doubt you should always think of the bigger picture. In this case the long term view is that you want to graduate with the best grades possible so that you can boost your career earnings. Is it worth following the college gossip and risking this rare opportunity?

Do one thing at a time.

I learned that the human mind can only process so many different thoughts at once. Multi-tasking often over-glorified. Is it worth trying to floss your teeth while driving and reading the last chapter? Nope. This will lead to stress. This stress will ultimately lead to burnout. Burnout will kill your motivation and defeat the whole purpose of going back to college this fall.

This is why I often stress the importance of doing one thing at a time. You’re much better off focusing your energy on completing important task with your utmost focus. I find it most effective to get your most important work done first thing in the morning. I also believe in the idea of completing “2 minute tasks” as they come in, instead of creating a colossal to-do list. You’ll be surprised by your results when you start doing one thing at time. Go ahead anĀ  give it a try.

At the end of the day I want to give you major props for making the decision to go back to college this fall. This is a big step. I hope that it’s a fulfilling journey that leads to a boost in income or a career switch that you really need.

Are you going back to college? Do you have any experience with going back to school as a mature adult? Please share your experiences with us.

(photo credit: scoop_photo)