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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.


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