There are many different reasons to want to go back to school. Maybe you want extra training to move forward more quickly in your chosen career path. Or maybe you’re in a career that you don’t necessarily feel passionate about and want to pursue something new. No matter their reasons, many people who aren’t “traditional students” can feel hesitant to return, fearing they may not fit in socially or may have forgotten how to be a student at all.
These concerns are entirely normal, but, you’ll be relieved to know that more and more “older” students are taking advantage of continuing education options than ever before. Here, we’ll dive into some common concerns mature students may have, as well as why enrolling in school later in life is an excellent idea.
Will I Remember How to Be a Student?
Although it may not always look like it from the outside, being a student is a specific skill of its own. Depending on your previous experience with school and how long it’s been since you’ve last taken a class, beginning your studies may initially be more difficult, especially if you are used to a different kind of workplace.
At the same time, students who have been working for a few (or even more than a few) years sometimes have a better sense of how to work efficiently. Whereas younger students may not have a concrete idea of their strengths and weaknesses as learners, older students know exactly how important it is to have discipline and what methods and motivations work for them. Once returning students develop the school-specific habits that work for them, they can do anything they want. The world is your oyster!
Will I Be Able to Fit in Socially?
Although most people think of the “average” student as under the age of 23, according to the Canadian government, only 12% of people graduating from healthcare programs in 2014 were under the age of 22, and only 37% were under the age of 25. Although classes often require people from all walks of life to learn together, age doesn’t have to be a liability. In fact, practical experience can often be an asset.
The truth of the matter is that there is no “average” experience of higher education in Canada. There are so many options and possibilities available to every student that everyone has the opportunity to make their education what they want it to be and make friends along the way.
How Can I Manage Balancing School, Work, and Family Commitments?
This is a common concern among mature students considering a return to post-secondary. As an older student, you may be juggling multiple responsibilities such as full-time or part-time work, family commitments, or other personal obligations.
While it’s true that managing multiple responsibilities can be challenging, many educational institutions, including ABES, offer flexible learning options such as part-time study, evening classes, and online courses. These accommodations can make it easier to balance school with other commitments.
Also, developing good time management skills and creating a realistic study schedule can be extremely helpful in maintaining a healthy balance between your academic and personal life. Remember, it’s about finding the right balance for you.
The Silver Lining: Benefits of Returning to School Later in Life
Returning to school at an older age comes with many benefits that can enrich your personal growth and professional development. As a mature student, you bring life experience, focus, and motivation to the table that younger students may not have. Here are some major advantages of going back to school:
- Life Experience: You’ve faced challenges, navigated changes, and solved problems in your personal and professional life. This experience can often translate into a deeper understanding of coursework and a practical approach to assignments.
- Defined Goals: Unlike many younger students who are still exploring their career path, as an older student, you likely have a clear picture of what you want to achieve with your education, which can lead to a better return on your investment.
- Financial Stability: Often, older students have more financial stability, making it easier to manage the cost of education without the stress of balancing part-time work and study.
- Career Advancement: Additional education can be a key to unlocking higher-level positions within your existing career, giving you a competitive edge in the job market.
- Network Expansion: Returning to school offers a chance to meet new people, broaden your perspectives, and expand your professional network.
Reentering the academic world as an older student not only provides you with the chance to fulfil your aspirations but also contributes to your personal development and broadens your horizons. Embrace the chance to learn, grow, and transform your career with the power of continuing education.
Achieve Your Dreams at ABES College
We at Alberta Business & Educational Services (ABES) think that continuing education is an essential service for everyone in Calgary. We’re committed to providing a life-changing educational experience to all of our students, no matter what age you happen to be. Contact us today to find out more about how you can get the education you need to pursue your dreams.