In the current economic climate, many people are returning to school to update their career skills. If you’re one of them, here are ten things about the learning process that you may have forgotten.
- The study-to-class-time ratio – Many adult learners find ways to fit class time into already-full schedules but forget to set aside study time. The general rule-of-thumb is to allow two hours of study for every hour in the classroom.
- There’s more to school than tuition – When making a college budget, remember you will need to buy books, pay lab fees and purchase other supplies. You can stretch your budget by sharing supplies with classmates and looking for used textbooks.
- Time management – Juggling work, school, family and church activities can be difficult. Don’t trust to luck to get it all done. Plan your week ahead of time.
- Taking care of yourself – Your new, demanding schedule requires that you stay healthy. Eat right, stay hydrated and take your vitamins if your doctor recommends them. Don’t forget to sleep for at least 8 hours every night, as well.
- Travel costs – Budget some money for travel costs. Even if you are earning your degree online, you may still need to travel for research or while completing projects.
- Give yourself some downtime – Even with all the new demands on your day, find time to relax. It will improve your mood and, by lessening the effects of stress, may even improve your grades.
- Study space – In a college dorm, study space is provided. Adult learners must find space in their homes for study.
- Befriend your classmates – Fellow students can be a great resource. Don’t get so focused on your studies that you ignore the other people in your classes.
- Talk with your teacher – College professors are intimidating, but they are there to help. Have a problem or question? Reach out to your teachers.
- Paper is out – Rethink the three-ring binder. Consider a tablet or laptop for note taking. It can really streamline finding and organizing your notes.
Knowing what obstacles lay ahead — and planning for them — can smooth the bumps on your road to a higher education. For more information, visit CCU’s Career Development resources.