SophiaBlog

7 tips for going back to school as an adult

Posted on September 01, 2022

Posted on September 01, 2022

If you’re an adult returning to college, you have many factors to take into consideration. From picking a school that best meets your needs to discussing your options with colleagues, family and friends, there are several choices to make. 

It’s also worth figuring out how many semesters it will take to finish your degree. If you’re looking for ways to complete your program fast, Sophia may be able to help you knock our your gen ed requirements by offering new monthly subscribers a 25% discount for their first month of membership.

Once enrolled in your program, you’ll need to look for ways to fit coursework into your daily schedule while also focusing on your long-term goals. These tips are designed to help make this process easier. 

1. Pick a school that meets your needs 

The first step in going back to school is to figure out which one has the academic programs you’re interested in. Which ones will help support your career goals? What areas of study are you most excited to explore? Does the school accept transfer credits from previous courses you’ve taken? 

Because there are so many schools to choose from, it’s also helpful to take into account financial aid and how much enrolling will actually cost you. Finally, look into whether coursework is offered online in a flexible format that lets you learn when you have the time. Schools like Sophia offer content on your phone, tablet or laptop – on demand so you can learn when it’s easiest. 

2. Discuss your options with colleagues, family and friends 

Check with your social circles to see if those closest to you have any insights. It’s possible some of them have been considering their own educational goals and have even started to take steps toward enrolling in a program. Comparing notes with them can be a huge help. 

Some of your peers may have even completed degrees of their own. If so, they’ll be able to help you understand how day-to-day coursework has gone for them. In understanding their experiences, you might learn that pursuing a degree can be easier than you initially thought. 

3. Talk to your supervisor

If you’re currently employed, it’s helpful to talk to your supervisor or manager about your plans. There may be financial support available. Many organizations have partnerships with colleges and universities that offer ways to save, including tuition discounts and scholarships. Your supervisor can explain what you’re eligible for or help you get in touch with HR specialists who can provide that information. 

Your supervisor may also be able to offer advice on how you can fit school into your current schedule. By working together, you can come up with a plan for how you’ll go back to school in a way that won’t interfere with your job responsibilities. 

4. Reach out to an academic advisor/learning coach 

When weighing your options, it can help to talk to someone who works for the school you’re interested in. These advisors can help walk you through the process of enrolling and answer any questions you have.

If you’re concerned about how going back to school will work with your current schedule and responsibilities, advisors can help. They can show you how it’s possible to work, study and also have a life outside of your job and academic program. 

At Sophia, for example, there’s a dedicated team of learning coaches who you can contact via phone, email or chat. They’re always on hand to provide information and help. 

5. Look for ways to fit coursework into your daily schedule 

After you’ve chosen your school and enrolled, it’s time to focus on your coursework. This can be a challenge, depending on the other things going on in your life. If you’re employed, you have the daily demands of your job. If you have dependents living with you, they may require attention throughout the week. 

It can be helpful to figure out when you have blocks of time to dedicate to your program. Are you able to get up a bit earlier than usual in order to study? Can you learn during your lunch break? Is there time on the weekends to fit in some reading and assignments? It’s possible there are places in your schedule that can accommodate some of this work. 

6. Take time to recharge 

As with any undertaking, you’ll need to step back from your studies from time to time. Mental health breaks can help clear away stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. To unwind, take a walk, listen to your favorite music or podcast, get coffee with friends or watch a movie or TV show. Anything that shifts your attention from your studies to something that’s more relaxing can help you maintain energy and focus. 

As you relax, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Your degree program is a process and you’re undertaking it to get closer to achieving your career goals. Keeping this in mind can help you stay motivated. 

7. Look ahead to additional courses/next steps 

As you complete a few courses, it’s important to look ahead to what your next steps will be. What are the next courses you’ll take? Which ones do you need to complete your degree? By approaching your education with a mindset that asks, “what’s next?” you can stay on task throughout your program. 

As you get close to completing your degree, it’s helpful to reassess your career goals. Look for positions that you’ll be qualified for and apply when possible. Consider if you want to continue with your education: going from a bachelor’s degree program to a master’s, for example. 

One of the best things about getting an education is that it can open up more possibilities for professional and personal growth. Exploring these possibilities is part of the process of going back to school, continuing with your program and even finishing it. 

Ready to go back to school? Join Sophia and use code BTS22 to save on gen ed courses today.

Category: Higher Education