In today’s economy, many adults are making the decision to return to college. It’s not a decision to take lightly. Tuition is expensive, and classes are time-consuming. In a society were time is money, becoming a student is a huge investment. Help is available, if you qualify. The first step is to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as a FAFSA. The website, www.fafsa.ed.gov is relatively simple, you just have to follow the steps. Deciding on a college can be a bit more tricky. There are many options: online schools, community colleges, state run universities and private colleges. This decision should be based on your lifestyle and your budget.
When I made the choice to return to school, I decided to treat it like a full-time job. I realize that I am lucky to be able to exercise this option. I have three children, and I knew that to do well, I would need to devote a significant amount of time to my studies. I was not sure that I could do that, care for my children, and have a job as well. My family has made many sacrifices in order for me to continue my education, but there are benefits as well. My children are able to see my work ethic, and the connection between hard work and good grades. I believe this will influence their study habits as well and hopefully make them better students.
I find some aspects of returning to school are made easier with age. At eighteen years old, I did not have the benefit of experience that I have now. I was learning everything from square one and trying desperately to remember all the information. As an adult learner, I am able to put many of the things I am learning into context, and it makes it much easier to remember. Some of the things I am learning about I have lived through. It is a huge advantage.
Returning to school can be a sacrifice at times, but it is also hugely rewarding, and a great boost to self confidence. As George Eliot once said, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”