Jul 29, 2020 12:31 PM EDT
Tips for Getting a Degree as a Mature Student
Getting back into education after a long gap can be very daunting. That's especially true if you're older than the average student. People aged 30+ are heading back to education more than ever, but that doesn't mean that this is an easy option to consider. However, with the right planning and the right mindset, it might be easier to get your degree or your MA than you think. With so many options available for improving your education, you could be graduating with a new qualification before you know it, and enjoying the career boost that comes with a higher level of education. If you're thinking about going back to college or university, here are some tips for mature students that you might not have considered.
As an older student, there's a good chance that your priorities will have changed since you were 18. You're probably going to want to avoid those all-night parties because you want to be fresh-faced and full of energy when it comes to your classes. Once you know what you want to achieve with your education, it becomes much easier to create a proactive schedule. This is vital, and even more so if you also have a job to get to or a family to look after as well. Don't assume that you have to be a full-on, stereotypical student just because you're back in education. Have a schedule and a plan, and stick to it.
Use your Time Wisely
Getting a degree means more than attending lectures and doing your coursework. All of the essays in the world can certainly get you a better final grade, but your education shouldn't just be based on the specifications of your course. There are lots of ways to enhance your future employment prospects, and work experience is certainly the most valuable. Consider your reasons for going back to college. If you're doing so because you want to enter a new career field, start interning or volunteering with businesses and organizations in that field. This can enhance your resume and makes it much easier to stand out from those younger students that spent their vacations relaxing.
You don't have to go to a college on the other side of the country to get your degree. You don't even have to move into halls. Now that online learning is both accessible and respected by employers, it's never been easier to get back into education without ever leaving your home environment. From a business degree that can dramatically transform your job prospects to the high-quality and highly regarded MBA online Canada programs, you don't need to pack up all of your belongings and head to a college campus. Online learning is one of the best ways to ensure that you can enhance your employability while minimizing disruption in your daily life.
Whether you're living on campus or you're studying online, it's always beneficial to connect with those students in the same class. This is made easier if you live in the same halls, but even online learners have more communication options available than ever. Linking up with people in your class is great for when you have challenging reading to do or when deadlines are fast-approaching for your latest essay. However, it can also be very beneficial after graduation. That's because all of those students will be looking for careers in the same (or similar) fields. That means having them as LinkedIn connections or Facebook friends can mean a lot more opportunities to find those roles that might not be so widely advertised. Networking is a critical component of the modern career, so don't avoid connecting with other students, no matter their age.
Don't Get Distracted
As a mature student, you will have more life experience than most of the people in your class, and that gives you an advantage when it comes to planning and prioritizing your life and your education. If you're heading to live on campus, don't get swept up in the excitement! It can be very easy to look at this opportunity as an excuse to act like you're 18 again, but this can quickly lead to problems with attending lectures. If you're going back into education at a later age then you're doing so because you want to have more options. If you get distracted by the social side of college life then your qualifications will be harder to get and you may even fail your course.
It can be a lot of fun being a mature student, but it's also a serious business if you're older. Identify your goals, have a plan to meet those goals, and your new career path will be easy to get onto and your future will be dramatically and positively transformed.
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