Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to School Tips for Adult Students

Before we know it, school will be back in session. While everyone worries about what their teachers will be like and how much homework they’ll have, adult learners face special challenges.

Going back to school as an adult means juggling your course work with the demands of everyday life. However, according to Anita Hammond, the Workforce Development Coordinator at LifeBridge Health, instead of being overwhelming, the experience can be rewarding and exciting, as long as there is some planning.

There are a variety of reasons that adults decide to go back to school. Among the most popular are career advancement, a job change, the ability to help their own children with homework and the chance to do something for themselves after their kids are grown.

Hammond shares five tips to help adults successfully add schoolwork to an already busy life.
  • Make sure that you’re going down the right career path. Part of this is honestly evaluating your own skills, such as math, reading and comprehension, so you have a good idea about how you’ll fare when you get back into the classroom.
  • Research what financial help is available from the government, public funds, private sources and your employer. For instance, LifeBridge Health provides tuition assistance for employees so they have the latest information in their fields and so they can continue to challenge themselves in life.
  • Organize your family’s time. Make a calendar with everyone’s activities and a to-do-list so that you can keep track of schedules, study time and free time.
  • Stay healthy so you can still thrive no matter how hectic things get. This can include everything from healthy eating (especially a good breakfast so your stomach doesn’t growl during class) to exercising to relaxing.
  • Finally, understand that there will be stresses: the balancing act with your family, wondering how you will do back in the academic world and all of the unexpected things along the way. Perseverance and humor are two keys.
Hammond says it’s never too late to further your education and your dreams. If you are a LifeBridge Health employee who wants to learn more about workforce development classes, call 2-0858. To learn more about working at LifeBridge Health, visit LifeJobs.

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