4 Benefits of Being an Adult Student
OK, maybe your last algebra class occurred while George W. Bush held office or Internet research didn’t even exist when you attended high school. Some things, however, stay the same over time – like the value of a good education. If you’re ready to make your college dream a reality, don’t consider age a strike against you.
In fact, mature students often possess advantages their younger counterparts lack. Here’s a look at four benefits of having a few years under your belt when going back to school.
Life teaches us all sorts of things. Bringing this knowledge to the classroom enhances learning by encouraging real-life connections. Presented with developmental stages in a psychology textbook? You already know plenty about the terrible twos from interaction with your own children. Studying September 11thin history class? Most traditional-age students weren’t even born yet, but you might vividly remember how it felt to hear the news.
High school seniors often go onto college because others tell them that’s “what you’re supposed to do.” Many lack a sense of purpose. By contrast, older students often hold thought-out career goals. With experience in the working world, they know how education translates into better opportunities. Perhaps they’ve seen promotions go to degree-holding colleagues or have had trouble finding good-paying positions for which they meet qualifications.
3. Time management
Parents and teachers frequently keep an eye on the progress of high school students. Thus, college can come as a shock when one assumes his or her own responsibility for scheduling and deadlines. Younger students often don’t realize the preciousness of time, how to break larger projects down into manageable parts, and the value of a well-kept calendar. Older students generally have more experience with juggling multiple commitments (such as a family, work, and household duties), so staying on track may be second nature.
4. Eye on the prize
Lastly, the determination possessed by mature students can impact success. Having spent their own money on tuition, they don’t want to see it go to waste. Similarly, returning to school often means sacrificing time with family or asking loved ones to take on more household duties. Not wanting to disappoint those who have helped, adult students often go the extra mile – seeking extra help from professors and institutional staff, asking questions, and studying harder. And when the temptation to check Facebook “just for a minute” strikes while doing biology homework or friends want to stay an extra half hour at Starbucks but you have reading to catch up on, adult learners are often better able to resist. They know their current priorities and keep the image of holding that degree front and center!