How to Make Your College Experience a Success
When going back to college as an adult, consider these points in order to maximize your time and money:
Gain On-the-Job Experience
No matter how much you "think" you'll enjoy a certain career or profession, until you're actually in the daily grind of it, you cannot be sure. Many professions look glamorous on paper, only to actually prove to be boring and unfulfilling. For example, a dream to be a teacher and mold and shape young minds of the next generation may be shattered with the daily rigors of classroom preparation, curriculum, and grading. Only until you have experienced the field even for a short time will it give you a realistic picture. For those fields that require a masters level degree or are physically demanding like nursing, even volunteering will be helpful in deciding whether to pursue that route or not.
Research Your Post-Grad Career
Don't have tunnel vision when it comes to earning your degree. While that may be a goal, the end goal is securing a satisfying career. Know what kind of licensure is required by state for certain fields such as education and nursing. Know current industry trends for the most profitable career. And know how to write your resume and interview well.
Research the Specifics of Each Degree Program
Some colleges and universities have stricter qualifications for internships. Most majors require an internship of some type, so knowing this ahead of time won't give you any unwanted surprises once you've invested time and money into a program. Also check out course listings per semester for an in-depth look prior to committing.
Don't Give Up!
Going back to school as an adult presents different challenges than as a young adult. While there may not be as many resources for an adult as there are for students, with the proper research and preparation, adult students may be just as, if not more, successful than their younger counterparts. Maturity and life experience provides a fortitude and commitment to higher education that may not be found in young students fresh out of high school.