At 45, I am considering attending college for the first time ever. Curious about the experiences of other adult learners, I reached out to my friends on Facebook:
Lorraine M. Pasquali: I dove in feet first, like I do everything. After the first class, I felt I had made a huge mistake and cried in my car for 10 minutes before driving home. The workload seemed daunting… I was still working a full-time job and planned to attend classes at night (3 of them – Its that Feet first thing). Everyone around me was so much younger, and they didn’t have day jobs to worry about. I considered myself to be rather tech savvy, but the Library may well have been the Starship Enterprise. Legal briefs, I have to write legal briefs? LexisNexis ? – Never heard of it. Fortunately, I hung in there… By Thanksgiving, I was firing on all cylinders – reading chapter after chapter, writing legal briefs and acing essay tests. That same professor that had scared the living sh*t out of me on day one stopped me after class and told me, “I’m really impressed with the work you’re doing in this class.” It was a total immersion experience. It had to be. I continued classes year-round. I think I if I had stopped/taken a break, I would have lost momentum. They joy of learning and that I continued to surprise myself is what kept me going. I earned a bachelors degree in 2 1/2 years. It was the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life.
Robin Hudspeth: When I was in my forties, I went back to finish my bs and get a master’s. For me, the hardest part was the lack of physical stamina. I took a LOT of naps, sometimes in my car in the campus parking lot! It was harder than I thought it would be, but soooo worth it.
Sabrina Wellendorf: Yeah.Going back to school at 52 & competing with 18-yr old brains was tough. Doing homework “old-school” (hand-writing everything, taking notes, watching videos & taking notes. Did I mention taking notes? & lots of notes.) was tough. While everyone else watched videos & retained everything while I struggled with taking notes. The reward was I passed my CST first time with flying colors!!! Lesson–do what you know best–the rest takes care of itself.
Susan Willner Jones: Nursing school at 44.. thought it would be cake- it was a tech school and I already have a bachelors- HA! I couldn’t have been more wrong! One of the toughest things I ever did- even if I didn’t have kids and financial struggles along with it. Whoa~ new respect for all nurses! I am sure I couldn’t have done it when I was younger- maturity helped me succeed.
Are you also considering a return to school? These links may be helpful:
10 Things an Adult Learner Should Know Before Going Back to College from StraighterLine.com
5 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult at About.com
Returning to School as an Adult at iSeekEducation.com
Myths That Keep Adults From Going To College at VSAC.com
Going Back to College at ACT.org
6 Tips for Adults Going Back to School at Woman’s Day
Have you attended college as an adult? Please share your own experiences in the comment box below.