In Work/Life Balance

by guest blogger, Lucy Wyndham

Thrive With These Strategies for Back to School

Are you going back to school for a 2nd career?

A 2014 survey found that there were approximately “8.2 million college students 25 and older.” The idea that college is just for young adults is no longer the case. From boosting one’s earnings in an existing career field to making a career change later in life, there are a variety of reasons that adults over the age of 25 go back to school.

While the idea of balancing school and work might seem terrifying to those who haven’t been in school for years, the pros can often outweigh the cons. If your resume is in dire need of additional educational credentials, there are proven ways to conquer the challenge. Explore three strategies for thriving as an adult student.

Take care of your mind and body when going back to school

Although the concept of self-care may sound unnecessary to some, it is actually a crucial step in helping yourself succeed when going back to schoolTaking care of your mind and body offers research-backed benefits, such as reducing overall stress levels and enhancing concentration. These two advantages alone are incredibly important when attending school. Not sure what will work best for you? Start by scheduling time in your day for activities such as yoga, meditation, walking, deep breathing exercises, healthy eating, and practicing positive affirmations. All of these activities are linked to positive health benefits and will prevent burnout while adjusting to your new schedule.

Start out with a small course load

Although you may feel the temptation to finish your program as quickly as possible, it is best to avoid taking on too much at the beginning. Since you will likely be one of the 58% of adult learners who have to work when going back to college, you should enroll in the lowest number of credit hours allowed during your first semester. Doing this will help you gently ease back into attending school again, and will allow you to see what is expected in a standard college class. Once you feel comfortable doing so, you can increase the number of credit hours you take in future semesters.

Plan out your daily schedule in advance

Having a written daily schedule is essential to succeeding in your first few semesters of classes. If you’ve been in the same routine for 10-20 years, going back to school will shake up that routine in a hurry. At the beginning of each week, make a personal schedule for each day. Budget time for work, class attendance, homework, taking care of your family, and for self care. While this may seem next to impossible, being proactive about your daily schedule can help you achieve balance.

Going back to school as an adult learner can seem scary at first. However, by taking the steps outlined above, you can put yourself in a better position to thrive during this next chapter of your life.

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lucy wyndhamGuest Blogger: Lucy Wyndham is a professional freelance writer, editor and mother of two, who decided to take a step back and work from home after spending a decade working in the finance and health industries. You can reach out to Lucy at lucywyndham.writer@gmail.com

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balancing work and school