Going back to school? Here are some tips!

Thinking about going back to school? 

Pen and BookAre you thinking about returning to college after being away for a while? Maybe decades? Are you feeling a bit nervous about it? You are not alone. Many women feel the same way.

I am here to tell you “you can do it!”   

No matter where you are in the process, here are some tips that will hopefully make the transition back into school mode a smooth one. Not all of these will fit your unique situation, so pick and choose the ones that make sense!

1. First, let me reiterate: You can do it! You will find that your life experience will serve you well as you work on your formal education, whether that is an undergraduate degree or an advanced degree.

2. If you are working on an undergraduate degree, don’t feel like you must have your major chosen to begin taking classes. It’s pretty common that what you were interested in right out of high school has changed now that you have some life experience under your belt.

3. Start slowly. Adding one more thing to your busy schedule usually takes a bit of getting used to. Taking one or two classes will help ease that transition, plus you can try out different types of classes on your way to choosing a major.

4. Pick your school wisely – consider what budget your family can afford, whether it makes sense for you to take out student loans and whether you can take classes online or must attend in person.

5. Consider online classes! While not for everyone, online classes can be a great option for women returning to school. You can choose the best time of day to work on your classes and fit them in around the other things in your schedule. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection.

6. Create and stick to a regular schedule. School work will now become part of your regular routine, along with the other things in your schedule. If your assignment is due on Wednesday night at midnight, don’t wait until Wednesday night at 10 pm to start working on it! (Trust me on this one.)

7. Put everything on your calendar and check your calendar daily. It can be so easy to think we have remembered everything, only to realize you missed a quiz, or a paper because we got busy with real life.

8. Make a study area in your home and work there consistently. Keep your books there, your computer and other necessary school supplies. Remove distractions as much as possible.

9. If you have children at home while you are going back to school, find a sitter you can trust. There will be times, even doing schoolwork online, where you will need a break. Maybe it’s to study for a big test, or to finish writing a final paper – or maybe it’s recovering from a big test! 

10. Ask your family for the help you need – have someone else be in charge of dinner finals week, or take kids to the park for a couple of hours of quiet, or even sending you off for a pedicure one weekend. Don’t be shy in asking for support.

11. Strongly consider renting your textbooks. Most of them you will not need after graduation and you will save a lot by renting. Check out Chegg.com or Amazon for textbook rentals. 

 

Do you have more tips for women going back to school? Share them in the comments below!