“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey
We live in a country were a vast majority of the population live on or under the poverty line. Under such circumstances these families can neither afford nor allow their young ones to study as they will not only having to spend money on their education but also lose a bread earner of the family. Those who do study are forced to study something practical that will help them get a stable job and earn them enough to meet their basic requirements rather than letting them studying what they want. As a result they grew up doing menial jobs living a lowly and unfulfilled life. Though in the recent year there has been a positive change as more and more of these adults are going back to schools and colleges to obtain the knowledge and skills that will help them get a job they want, rather than the one that just pay their bills. And returning as a mature student can be daunting so here are some tips for the courageous ones that chose to do so:
- Age is an asset:
Look at ways of bring your personality and experience before university into your studies to benefit you. You may already be skilled at planning your time, writing drafts or have an understanding of the circumstances that enable you to work at your best. Also bring your experiences into play in seminars and group discussions.
- Strength in number:
Connecting with other mature students is a positive way to navigate the sometimes tumultuous ocean of adult learning. Whether you are going back to school formally (taking part- or full-time courses at a local college or university) or informally (auditing courses or taking an online class for interest’s sake), we should make time to connect with those adult learners, even if they aren’t in our program or faculty of study.
- Remain confident:
At college or at your home people may criticize your decision, you should remain firm on it as you are not doing this for them but your own self. And remember that any life change can take a few months to settle down. Higher education is there to be embraced and those who seize the experience reap the rewards for many years to come.
- Don’t run and hide:
If you are walking into a busy lecture hall and realizing you’re the oldest person there is your biggest fear, then this is understandable. But don’t let it ruin your experience. Remember that everyone else will be new as well and probably as anxious as you though for different reasons.
- Remind yourself as to why you are doing this:
Remind yourself why you chose to study in the first place. These goals can sometimes be forgotten when deadlines loom or you feel stressed and anxious.
- Get connected :
Don’t assume the other students won’t want to get to know you because you are a mature student or that you won’t have anything in common. All students bring a range of experiences and interests to university regardless of their age or background.
- Study space:
Think about where and when you study most effectively. If you feel you get disturbed when you study at home, plan your day so that you fit your work around lectures and seminars.
- Hope for the best prepare for the worst:
If you already are in job it is best to make a schedule that will allow you to study and keep on doing your job in case if your are unsuccessful in attaining the desired qualification.
- Essential self care:
Maintaining physical and emotional health is essential to managing your workload at school, Sleep is the foundation for health and well-being. Diet and exercise will keep you mentally sharp.
- And finally relax and enjoy yourself.
Sohaib Mehroze Iqbal