Boomers going back to school is not an unusual concept. More and more older adults are choosing to head back to work. Regardless of age, continuing your education is something you should be proud of pursuing. However, even as an adult it is a big undertaking so before you start things in motion, consider these tips.
Decide why you’re heading back.
Not that there is a wrong reason to go back to school, but understanding why your desire to do it is an important first step. It could be that you want to develop new skills or gain a degree that will advance your career. It could be that you want to learn a new subject. It could just be that you want to do it for fun. Whatever your reasons, it’s important to identify it early because that decision will go on to inform just about every other decision you make going forward.
Discuss it with work.
Of course juggling the immense pressures of going back to school with the responsibilities of work, so it’s likely some compromises need to be made. It would be wise to discuss your intentions and desires to head back to school and what that will mean for your work commitments. Maybe some flexibility can be made to your regular schedule to work around your class time. There is also a chance that if the education helps with your current position, you can be given the time off work to complete your schooling. In any case, sit down with your supervisor or appropriate work personnel before proceeding too far.
Ask someone who has already done it.
When undergoing something as time consuming, difficult and important, it’s always nice to get some perspective on it. Pick the brain of a friend or colleague who has gone down a similar path. If you don’t have any close acquaintances who have, seek someone out. While everyone’s experience will likely differ quite a bit, there’s so many helpful things your can learn. What difficulties did they face? How is the community of older students? What would they do differently is they had the chance? With these insights, you can go in a little more prepared.
Come up with a time management plan.
As mentioned before, you’re likely going to have a significant amount on your plate at times. While going back to school is a move that should be applauded, if you can balance the school work with your other responsibilities than you shouldn’t do it at all. Set out a plan for how you will balance all your work and set a detailed schedule to prove to yourself that you can achieve it.
Do some research into schools.
If it was your child going to school you would have them endlessly researching the right school for their education. You need to take a similar approach with you own selection of a school. Sure, you can’t be a flexible as a young student right out of high school given your other responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean you should just settle for the closest school. Visit the campuses, sit in on lectures, talk to professors, request syllabi. The more information you have, the more your decision is informed.
Consult your family.
While this is very much a personal decision you are making, it’s only fair that you open it up to your loved ones. Ask them what their feelings are on the matter. What reservations do they have? What difficulties will it pose to the family? What advice do they have for you?