Learning To Be A Student Again As An Adult

Whether your goal is to get the educational credentials to stand out more in the current job market or looking for a career change by furthering your education, going back to school as an adult is an exciting decision. But it can come with some anxiety as well. At Washington Technical Institute, we work with adults like you every day who are taking our online programs to start a new career or advance in their current role. Here are some of our tips for learning how to be a student again as an adult.

Do Your Research.

Depending on what career pathway you are looking at, you might not need a full two or four year degree to find a high paying career or to advance in your current field. Online career certificates can save you from a lifetime of student debt, so be sure you know what type of training you need to achieve your goals. 

Some of the considerations you will have to make are whether or not you can change your schedule around to fit a traditional educational path or if you want to pursue a program that is fully online, self-paced, and flexible so that you can continue to work or take care of family responsibilities while you’re pursuing your goals. If you do your research, you can find flexible online programs for careers in business management, IT, healthcare, or even working in a law office.

The next consideration is the cost. Some schools require payment in full before the first day of classes, while others allow you to make flexible monthly payments. Take a look at your budget to determine what level of cost you can afford. You want not only to start classes but to finish them, too, so you want to enroll in a program whose cost is sustainable for you.

Build A Support Network

Once you’ve decided what type of program you want to pursue and are enrolled, it’s important to build a support network to make sure you can cross the finish line to your goal. Just like with any other goal, you’re chances of success will be higher if you surround yourself with people who will encourage you and motivate you when you need it! You deserve a cheerleader or two! Don’t feel back about leaning on those people who love and care about you enough to help you reach your dreams. 

Your friends and family can be supportive, but so can your instructors! Don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed to reach out for help. Your instructors want to help you and want to see you succeed, so send that email before you feel too frustrated to move forward. Asking questions is how successful students learn, and you want to be a successful student; otherwise, you wouldn’t be in the instructor’s class! Reach out to them and see what a positive difference they can make.

Set Specific Boundaries & Goals.

To be sure that you achieve what you intend to achieve, you’ll want to set specific boundaries and goals. Sure, you already know you want to graduate…but how are you going to make that happen? When will you read and work on assignments? How much do you need to do each day to finish your coursework on time? Where are you going to do your classwork? How will you make sure you have the quiet space and time to complete your work?

Those are a lot of questions at once, but they’re important ones to figure out so that nothing gets in the way of the work you need to do to be successful. If you can find a quiet area where you have few distractions, that’s going to help you a lot. Setting specific times of day when you complete your work will tell everyone you live with that this is a consistent schedule and they need to support you by respecting that. Remember that it’s okay to set those boundaries with those who love and care for you. You’re doing something amazing and deserve their support. 

Review Note-taking Strategies.

Now, this one sounds like a buzz kill, but it’s a definite step to help you jump back into the swing of being a student again. Everyone learns differently, but note-taking in some form or another is a scientifically proven way to connect your brain with the material you’re reading and hearing. Take a look at how much YouTube has to say on the subject by doing a quick search for “Notetaking Strategies.” You might be surprised at how many people are out there teaching others how to take effective notes. If it’s been a while since you’ve been a student, watching a few videos can give you some useful tips of how to organize your notes and then use them to review and study.

Be Kind To Yourself.

You’re doing a big thing here! Be kind enough to yourself to recognize what a positive step you’re taking for yourself and, possibly, your family. If you’re working on a self-paced program that allows you to finish the coursework early, it’s fine to do that if you can, but not at the expense of your mental and physical well-being. Take the time to make sure you’re still taking care of yourself both mentally and physically. Get up and move around, take stretch breaks, and exercise to stay focused on both school and your own well-being.

Celebrate the benchmarks you make as you hustle forward. A lot of times, we can get into a cycle of feeling like we shouldn’t need to celebrate every accomplishment because we’re adults. But don’t let that stop you from recognizing each and every one of your accomplishments as you return to school as an adult. Big changes and big risks require big celebrations when they pay off, so give yourself the encouragement you need to keep pushing forward. A positive attitude will go a long way in reaching your goals.

Washington Technical Institute

Washington Technical Institute’s fully online certificates can be completed in a matter of months, with daily or bi-weekly start dates. Such flexible start dates make these programs unique and much more accessible for our students. An additional benefit of WTI’s programs is that we offer affordable pricing and monthly payments to help our students leave school without debt. 

Although our goal is to help our students graduate their programs with little to no debt, we also recognize that some students might need to utilize a loan for their educational investment. We are excited to announce our partnerships with Climb Credit or Ascent, student lending companies focused on financing career-building programs. 

If you’re ready to enroll and start your training to enter a high-paying career without a college degree, you can register for your program online through our website. Still have questions about our programs? Feel free to call us at 800-371-5581 or text us at 952-465-3702. Our admissions specialists will be happy answer whatever questions you have.

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Washington Technical Institute is Regionally accredited by the Middle States Association CESS, and licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as an institution of higher learning