College can be a huge undertaking for many people, especially as a mature student. Transitioning from an established career (or at least a consistent paycheck) into a full time student presents a number of life changes and potential challenges.
There are a number of questions I am sure that you are also asking yourself.
- Am I too old to go back to school?
- How will I be able to make all of my required payments?
- What is the “new” classroom atmosphere going to be like?
- Is it possible to even have a job while being a full time student?
These are all very common questions that are essential in preparing for the transition into college life. There are actually a number of different things that you can do in order to not only make your transition much smoother, but also have the ability to put yourself at ease.
Do Your Research
It is one of the most overlooked but also fundamental elements when beginning your transition into college. Chances are that if you are going back to school as a mature student, there is some type of driving force behind your decision. It is always essential to keep this top of mind. Use this as your motivation to allocate time towards understanding the course, its requirements, the school, meeting coordinators, professors, financial advisers, etc.
Set Up Meetings
Schedule meetings with different faculty members and your program coordinator. Not only does this provide the ability to obtain an abundance of knowledge and insight, you begin to grow your network and develop a professional relationship outside of the classroom.
You should be prepared for any meeting regardless of who it is with. You are asking someone for their time which is a priceless commodity, so don’t waste it.
- Develop questions
- Practice what you are going to say
- Figure out what you want to know
First impressions last a life time and this could have a drastic impact on your time spent in college.
Taking as many notes as possible and ask as many questions as possible. This will create a platform for your scheduling, time management, budgeting and allocation of funds at a later date.
Transitioning to college is a huge step, but ultimately one in the right direction. Make sure to stay honest with yourself and always remember why you made this decision in the first place.
Share your dreams, goals and aspirations with each person involved in the process (from bankers to professors). If they can understand what drives you to succeed, chances are they are willing to assist you in making it happen!