The decision to return to school isn't an easy one. It can be intimidating to start researching healthcare programs when you've been out of school for years. Here are some things you can expect when you go back to school.
Going back to school is normal now.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of students age 25 or older who attend school is higher than that of younger students.1 In fact, the group expects this number to increase by 23 percent through 2019, meaning more adults will begin cycling back to school to expand their education. Many adults may struggle with the notion that they're older than many of their classmates, but, as the NCES statistics show, this isn't the case. Take comfort in knowing that you're one of literally thousands of adults who are choosing to return to school.
Content is becoming digital.
The expansion of educational technology has changed even since the beginning of the 2000s. The lecture hall or classroom is no longer a sea of students hunched over desks, frantically scribbling notes and flipping through pages of textbooks. Today, students are beginning to utilize the mobile technology at their disposal. Laptops and tablets are now common. As a result, you don't won't have to relay as much on handwritten notes from class because lectures are now often downloadable and more engaging with videos and interactive coursework.
Your maturity may be an advantage.
Because you have more life experience under your belt than younger students, you may have a stronger work ethic.2 Having an important reason for going back to school (like providing for your family) can serve as a strong motivator. Younger students often struggle with a lack in direction for where they want to go after graduation.
Free time may become school time.
When you were younger, you had fewer responsibilities. You were able to juggle different hobbies and hang out after class. Now that you're older, your free time has dwindled. Deciding to go back to school means you will probably replace much of your free time with schoolwork, studying and exams.3 But the things that are most valuable to us in life are often the things we have to work for. So remember to focus on what you'll get when you graduate: A new career field and the opportunity to provide for yourself and your family in new ways.
You're probably setting an example.
The pride that many adult students feel when they begin to do well in school is irreplaceable. Parents often feel they are setting a positive example for their children by going back to school. Here's a suggestion: Ask people through social media how they feel about going back to school as an adult. You may be surprised to see how many positive remarks you get.