Spring and summer are times for choosing how to pave your future path. It’s also the time when a lot of adults are also thinking about going back to school. I know I did and for several years until I finally did it.
While I was thinking about it – I tried to search for what to expect and how to prepare? What to expect? But didn’t find much so I am trying to add to this with this post so you could be better prepared and know what to expect from this life-changing decision.
Research your options!
There are several different study forms in schools be sure to study all that is available in your country and in the chosen field. Evaluate your current responsibilities truthfully with an assessment of what kind of study form suits your life the best.
- Full-time/contact study
- Evening learning
- distance/independent study
- Session/period study
Research what is available to you and how do they work in your chosen school.
Check out the school website and try to find current students time tables in the first year chosen specialty. Today most have them displayed publicly and it really gives the best idea of what to expect. Can you make it? Are you ready to sacrifice your free time? And be honest to yourself.
Talk with your closest
If you are thinking about it you need to talk with the closest of you – family, siblings, partner. The ones that are by your side all the time helping and supporting you. They need to know ahead of time, because just like you – they need to prepare also.
Going to school, no matter the study form, will change your life routines as long as you are in school. You have to be aware of why you are doing this, they need to know. Knowing and acknowledging the reason and the goal will get you all through it.
When you have family and kids – you need to talk through and make a plan, about how everybody will be fed and dressed when you are at school. A plan when you have to study for exams and can’t take care of them at times. A plan who will take care of you, when an exam session gets intense and you have used up all your nerves. Can they handle themselves and you?
Take apart all your responsibilities
Make a list of all your responsibilities – work, home, community, kids. Everything. What are the absolute must and what of those has to be done by you? Can someone help out or step in if needed. This part is probably easier with obligations in private life.
Work usually is trickier – so there are probably two options. Can you decrease work hours or are you prepared to catch up on work after hours – meaning you lose more time with family or friends?
Unless you are super sure how your company or supervisors think about attending school I wouldn’t advise talking about it at work. Either way, you should figure out your workload handling plan before you talk about its work because they will ask you how you plan to work it out. And unless the school isn’t hugely beneficial to them – their main concern will be how your tasks get done.
Prepare yourself for reactions
Unless you are freshly out of high school and expected to attend another school – there will be reactions.
Some will admire you, praise and encourage you. You will get a huge amount of respect for being brave and seeing all the possibilities it will bring to you.
Some are sure you are just plain crazy. And not shy about letting you know that.
And most likely either representative can’t be predicted. Prepare yourself and make a note of the crazy callers. When things get tough and you need to ask for help – these aren’t the ones you should turn to. Because most likely they will tell you the blame is on you and you should have known better.
The technical part of the school
There aren’t any requirements for technical gadgets for schools usually. At least here no school demands that you should have a computer or other devices. But the reality is, that you will need one. At least at home a desktop version, but it would be easier if you have a laptop. And then preferably light one with lasting battery, you can grab to lecture.
Firstly teachers tend to assume everyone can submit their homework made on the computer. Some assume you have one with you to open extra materials to view in class – to save paper. And lastly – unless you have great handwriting – your notes will be more readable and easier to organize when you have them digitally. I use Microsofts OneNote since Microsoft 365 is provided freely to every student. This helps me to keep ALL notes in one place and they are accessible from different devices – both laptop and tablet. Since my laptop is too big and heavy – I carry a tablet to school with a mini keyboard.
Be ready to ask for help
Prepare yourself for the inevitable moment. Sooner or later, you will need help and you should accept it beforehand because it will make it easier to ask. You need help with everyday tasks as simple as going to the store when you are overwhelmed and digging deep in schoolbooks to study for exams. You might even need someone to remind you to sleep and eat.
Write It doesn’t matter do you need the help of someone explaining things to you. Or someone just listening to your ranting and venting about how it doesn’t make sense at all – until after enough ranting – it will. Or joining you in celebrating victories.
One way or the other you will need your loved ones more than ever. To be with you, guide you, guard you, stand by you. But the school still will be a great adventure that may open doors and possibilities you would never find without it. And there will be some great connections to create a better life for you.
8 thoughts on “6 steps to school”
These are really important things to consider when returning to school as it’s such a huge commitment. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you! Returning to school need a lot more consideration with adult life in place 🙂
These are really good tips. I really admire what you are doing and the advice you’re sharing while going through the experience.
Thank you – I am trying my best. I hope it helps others to start that journey and it is a kind of journal for myself – where I can look back later to remind myself.
These are great tips for anyone looking into starting any kind of school, thank you for sharing them x
Happy you liked it and I do hope they help someone 🙂
I’m assuming that by school your mean college, adult learning centres, universities, and the like, rather than children’s schools?
If my assumption is right, then make sure to reach out to the organisation and discuss what support is available if you have learning difficulties, disabilities, or mental health issues. Knowing that can help you find the right place to attend
Adult studies yes.
Regarding learning and mental health difficulties I guess I am spoiled by the Estonian system – we have different specialists in all schools and these are covered by schools’ web pages – so researching schools would give those answers also. But this is good point – I should have pointed that out too. Thank you!