If you’re thinking of going back to school after a few years off and not sure where to start. You’re in the right place.
Whether you’re considering another degree or finishing one you’ve already started, there’s a lot to think about.
Let me start by saying that it’s never too late to go back to school.
You’re not too old. And you haven’t missed your window of opportunity.
In fact, the number of adults older than 25 getting higher education in the US has been rising since 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
So you’re not alone. Now let’s talk about how to go about getting back into school after a long gap.
How to know if going back to school is right for you
Only you can decide if going back to school makes sense for you.
You want to make sure the program you choose will actually help you get where you’re trying to go.
Your education should help you level up. It shouldn’t be about outside pressure or people-pleasing.
You are the only one responsible for that tuition bill.
If you’re still on the fence about whether going back to school is right for you, here are some questions to ask yourself.
Questions to ask yourself if you’re undecided about going back to school
- Have I done my research?
- Will going back to school actually help my career?
- If going back to school doesn’t help my career, will the experience still be worth it?
- What other options am I overlooking?
- Am I just chasing clout? (Believe me it happens!)
- Do the people in positions I want have similar degrees?
- Will the degree I’m pursuing be relevant in the future?
- Do I have a plan to pay for my education?
6 Steps for Going back to School After a Few Years Off
1. Warm Up Your Brain
You may want to prep your brain for learning if it’s been a while since your last classroom experience.
One way to do this is with memory activities. Memory activities can help to improve the function of the brain.
The next time you watch your favorite television show. Try to remember three unique things about the episode. Then share it with a family member.
The process of remembering events and then discussing them with others is supported by brain fitness studies.
Plus it’s a great way to train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.
2. Get Organized
Going back to school will fill up your calendar quickly. You’ll want to get organized before enrolling in a degree program. A digital planner can help with that.
You’ll want to rethink your priorities. If you’re overcommitted to things that don’t help you level up. Now’s a good time to scale back.
3. Be Honest About Your Weaknesses
Don’t wait to enroll in school before getting help. Look for a tutor to improve your skills in subjects you’ve always struggled with.
Or find online courses and resources. The earlier you start to work on your weaknesses, the easier your transition back to school will be.
4. Build Your Community
If you think you can get through school alone. Think again. You’ll want to build a support system to help you through the ups and downs of being a student again.
Here’s who you should have in your network once you go back to school.
People Every Student Should Have in their Network
- The friend who’s also in school
- The super supportive family member
- Teachers that want to see you win
- Tutors that push you to do your best
- Mentors that help guide you
- Career Counselors that help you plan your future
- The Therapists or someone that supports your mental health
5. Ease Your Way Back into School
Don’t feel pressure to go all in at once. If the thought of being a full-time student makes you nervous, it’s okay to take things slowly.
Start with one class or go to school part-time. Once you’re comfortable, work your way up. There’s no rule saying you have to be a full-time student. Baby steps are still steps.
6. Remember Your Why
There has to be a deeper reason why you’re going back to school. Maybe you’re the first person in your family to go to college. Or maybe no one in your community has a master’s degree.
Whatever your reason, write it down. Keep it somewhere safe. If ever you think of giving up. Whip it out and read it out loud.
School is not always going to be easy. So you have to remember your why.
Taking The First Step
If going back to school is what you want to do. Don’t let anything stop you. Including you. There’s no right or wrong time to get educated.
If you’re not sure where to start. Start by joining our community with thousands of learners worldwide. It’s free! Plus you get instant access to our Career Level Up Center when you join.
Over To You
What’s the scariest part about going back to school for you? Head over to our comments section on social @netwerkmovement and let us know. Share this with someone you’d love to inspire!