Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Pitfalls of Going Back to Study

Making a return to education after your traditional years of learning can be a tough thing to tackle. Mature students often struggle with confidence, time and learning how to learn again! There are a few pitfalls of going back to study, but this article is here to show you how to identify and avoid them, so that you can get the most out of your new learning experience. You can finish your qualification having done the best you can, and you may even enjoy it, too!

The Time Factor

The first pitfall that we'll look at in our trio is perhaps the most common. As a mature student, life has much more responsibilities in comparison to your teen years. There is a huge risk when you're going back to study that your time might be so full that you have to sacrifice your qualification before you finish it. It's no good identifying pitfalls without offering a solution; the easiest way to avoid time becoming an issue is to properly assess it beforehand. Be realistic about what you're willing to take on, you may now have work, a home and a family to accompany your study time. Don't put pressure on yourself to do too much, and talk to employers about flexibility of hours so that they're doing everything they can to accommodate your learning. Although it may seem too much to juggle your kids and home life on top, there are so many options available specifically for mature students with these responsibilities. Do your homework, and make sure you don't pass up on the opportunities available to help you.

The amount of books you have to read may surprise you.

Confidence issues can be twofold; you can either have too much, or not enough. It's very rare that a mature student will go back to study with too much confidence, but it does sometimes happen. Someone who has had a lot of previous success and is well trained in a certain field has every right to be secure in their abilities, but sometimes there is a danger of underestimating the difficulty, time and dedication that a new qualification in higher education can demand.
Struggling with self belief is a very common thing for those returning to education, but just take a deep breath; you're all in the same boat! It's normal to feel you like don't learn as quickly as you once did, or feel scared about going back to study. Remember that although it has been a while and things have changed a little, it's never as bad as you think and you don't need to feel insecure about learning again. It’s increasingly regular to find mature students, for whatever reason, accompanying younger ones on the same courses. Mature students may take a little longer to achieve their qualification because of their external responsibilities and rustiness but excel in other ways. Don't fall into the pit of self doubt!

Going back to school may seem daunting

Money Talks

The final pitfall of going back to study is finance. Most people are put off by the idea of the financial implication of studying again. Many people never even enrol on the courses that they really want to try because they are worried about money. The key thing to remember is that courses are available to accommodate a wide variety of timescales and situations. Night courses and part time options can mean that you can study around your work schedule, although you won't be able to complete your course as quickly as a full time student. As a mature student you may even be eligible for a loan, bursary or grant based on your income and performance.


Don't let money bog you down and stop you achieving your dream qualification and don't let your confidence be easily knocked, or a busy schedule stands in the way of your new career path. Don't just see the issues, see past them. There is help and advice out there. Avoid the pitfalls of going back to study and get the best out of your exciting new future!

Author bio: This article was brought to you by Sean Scully of Oaklands College.
Image credits: jm3 and Editor B


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...