There was a time when going to school was your only responsibility. Now that you are older and have many responsibilities, including a job, family, and community obligations, getting back into the swing of things may not be easy.
Nonetheless, if you have a burning desire to learn, capitalize on your work experience, or impress your boss, returning to school can be a rewarding experience. The best (and easiest) part is that you’ll be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and goals at this age. So, all you’ll have to do is focus on achieving your goals—no messing around. However, many adults struggle to burn the candle at both ends.
But to succeed in your academics and make the most of your experience as an adult learner, you must arm yourself with the proper knowledge. So, whether you’re already in college or considering going, here are some learning strategies that’ll help you find your way to a productive academic routine:
1. Remember your motivation
Keeping your motivation in mind while you study is one excellent way to maintain focus. Most likely, you already have one that motivates you to even think about returning to college in the first place.
For instance, you could use further education to alter the direction of your job. Or you probably work in a competitive and crucial sector, such as public health, and want to elevate your knowledge through an MSPH degree or similar. Or, you are returning to school to complete a project that some people began years ago.
No matter the reason, carry it with you. It will encourage you to schedule study time and motivate you throughout every session.
2. Improve your time management skills
A particularly essential skill for students who are also young parents and have greater demands on their routine is time management. Making a decent schedule that is well thought out is an intelligent method to improve your time management.
Be realistic about how much time a class will require, and remember to provide additional independent study time. Then factor in your extra time demands, such as those caused by full-time work, kids, pets, parents, etc. Maintaining a single calendar will allow you to include every aspect of your life into one timetable, making it easier to manage your time.
3. Work on your note-taking skills
Whether you’re learning in a traditional classroom setting or online, pay attention while you have class. Keep your focus on the lecturer or live chat host during class.
If you’re completing an online degree, set aside a specific time for research and study when you won’t be disturbed, and avoid attempting to double. Before the next lesson, take thorough notes and review your prior ones. You might increase your recall and capacity to comprehend the course material by putting things down on your terms and underlining essential passages.
4. Utilize the resources on campus
All institutions, mainly entirely online, have instructors, advisors, and on-campus facilities like writing centers and tutoring. So, make the most of them, as their expense is included in your tuition. The website of your institution and your academic advisor are two excellent sources of information regarding services like coaching and writing centers.
On school websites, student resources are frequently highlighted along with instructions on how to use them, including opening hours, if an appointment is necessary, what kind of aid is available, and so forth. Suppose there aren’t any official ones at your school. In that case, your academic advisor can point you in the direction of alternative sources of aid.
5. Make a study space in your house
You might find it easier to enter “study mode” if you have a separate study space at home. Attend your online classes here if you’re taking them. As far as possible, the area should be free from distractions, with little to no view of objects like TVs, laundry baskets, or other people. Try to turn it off or, better yet, leave your phone in a separate room.
If possible, avoid having this space in your bedroom since doing so can disturb your sleep because you might wonder about how you “should be studying” rather than getting some rest. Check to discover a location in your neighborhood where you can study peacefully if there isn’t one in your home. Schools or public libraries are specifically designed for this. Others find that relaxing in a coffee shop while sipping on a latte with their headphones is a terrific way to concentrate.
6. Work with your peers
Working with younger peers might be intimidating for adult learners. Standardized assessments and demanding school curricula to prepare today’s pupils for college are everywhere. As a result, individuals frequently still remember some excellent study ideas.
Many college study strategies have likely shifted or been updated if it has been a while since you attended school. Take advantage of the chance to learn from classmates, particularly during group projects, study sessions, and interactive in-class work. They’ll teach you some new study techniques, and you’ll most likely teach them something.
7. Maintain your health
Let’s finish with a suggestion for adult learners that is frequently not given the respect it deserves. You must feed and replenish your body before providing and filling your brain. Make sure you sleep for a sufficient time each night (between 7 and 9 hours). Eat wholesome, hearty meals. Don’t skip your workouts. As an adult learner, self-care becomes more crucial, so prioritize taking care of your body.
So, that concludes some of the best learning strategies adult learners should consider when trying to succeed academically.
As an adult learner, adjusting to academic life (again) and acing every exam can be difficult. Still, with enough preparation and some guidance, you can get through any difficulties and go forward to success. While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many individuals believe that if they ask for assistance, they will come across as foolish or weak, yet this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Professors, employers, and family members frequently value people who ask inquiries. Lastly, don’t beat yourself up if settling in doesn’t come easy. It’ll take some time because every person has a distinct approach and experience.