The most important advice is that it isn’t going to be as hard as it seems like it will and it is definitely something that is within your reach. There are several factors that contribute to college being easier the second time around or even the first time around if you enter as an adult. There are situations that you’re better prepared for, you’re ready to pursue a degree wholeheartedly, and you are undoubtedly better at focusing on your long-term professional goals. Earning a college degree isn’t an easy thing for anyone, but it doesn’t have to be any more difficult just being you’re going back to school in your 30s.
Even in the past ten years, going back to school at 30 has become more normal. It was never strange to want to further your education and your career, but now there are more career fields that require continuing education and there is a better attitude towards adults going to college. Making the decision to take the next step in your life and committing to it is awesome! When you’re younger, there are a lot of things that you haven’t yet had the chance to experience about the world, and college is often your first taste of freedom; even for the most dedicated students, this can pose a distraction.
The great thing about going back to college when you’re in your thirties is that you have more life experience now and that will allow you to truly understand what it is that you want out of your degree and go for it. One of the biggest pieces of advice for those of you who are considering this is that it isn’t going to be as daunting or difficult as it seems like. You may be worried because you haven’t been in school so long, or because you’ll be a different age group, but studies are showing that more and more adults are doing this. You shouldn’t let any insecurities hold you back from doing the things that are important to you.
There are some other things to carry with you, though. First of all, time management is going to be a vital skill to you as you reignite your academic journey. It is likely that you have a family, or at least a job at this point in your life. You may struggle to create a balance between those things already. Implementing new tools when it comes to managing your time like a planner, a to-do list, or even just a friend will help keep you on track and accountable so that you’re finishing assignments on time and not neglecting to give yourself some downtime to avoid burnout.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Colleges offer academic advising and guidance to online and on-campus students, and this includes helping you plan out your degree, career services, and sometimes even tutoring. Your employer, if you have one, may offer extra incentives for employees that are studying in a relevant field and might even have tuition reimbursement programs. There are also plenty of tutoring resources and free study tools online, from articles and how-to videos to apps that will help you create effective studying routines. You do know more now that you’re older, but that doesn’t mean that you neglect all of the amazing and helpful resources out there that can only bolster your success.