You may want to look at these before making your decision.
Have you been thinking about furthering your education for some time now, and you just feel like time has just gotten away from you?
Or perhaps you have some doubts about being older than the average student or the possibility of balancing school with work and family — know that whatever is holding you back is probably unrealistic.
Learning after a certain age can certainly be challenging, and I’m not here trying to prove otherwise. I simply want to address some of the common misconceptions we’ve been promoting for so long about going back to school as an adult.
Those myths not only put pressure on people, but they create a sense of fear and embarrassment — so how about we bust them once and for all?
Myth #1: You’ll Stand Out If You’re Over 25
Trust me. You won’t. I am about to graduate with a four-year university degree, and I can tell you that the ones who stood out the most were not the older students — it was the very young and immature ones. You can spot them anywhere because they were always the loudest, the noisiest and the most dramatic.
No offense, they were fun, but they were undoubtedly standing out more than older adults. I’ve encountered adults of all ages throughout my four and a half years of studies — from 18 years old to the late 50s.
According to The National Center for Education Statistics in 2009, 40% of students enrolled in a two or four-year college were over 25.
This percentage is expected to increase even more. Yes, indeed, you won’t learn as quickly as a 20-year-old, but you can always train your brain to adapt and improve how fast you can learn with time.
Most importantly, if you’re an adult wanting to go back to school, know that you’re never too old to learn anything. Learning is a lifelong journey, and those who think otherwise fail to understand the meaning of knowledge.
I know that it is easier said than done because one can easily fall into the trap of comparing themselves to people from their generation who finished their studies at a younger age and happen to be doing other things in life. But who said that school is insignificant once you settle for a job with your degree? This brings us to Myth #2.
Myth #2: You Don’t Need To Go Back To School Once You Land A Job
I hear this a lot, and I find it ridiculous. I won’t deny that I was also one of those who were taught from a very young age that the purpose of school is to get a degree for the sake of landing a job — but the reality is different.
Once you land a job, you’ll realize that furthering your education will help you grow even more in your career. Besides, there are various reasons why people over 25 decide to go back to school. You may want to change your job entirely, or you could simply want to learn a new skill, build a network, contribute to research, or just to study subjects that don’t necessarily lead to a particular occupation.
The number of things you can learn in college can be useful for your life outside of work. For instance, I know people who go back to school to learn a language to move into a new country. Others want to learn about child education to get a deeper understanding of everything revolving around raising children.
These are all valid reasons which are not less important than securing a job. Besides, most careers are continuously evolving, which means you should maintain your knowledge in whatever field you’re in.
According to a 2014 report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities that examined the benefits of liberal arts education:
“More than 90% of employers say that broad skills, including critical thinking and problem solving, are more important than your major.”
Myth #3: It’s Impossible To Balance School, Work, And Family
Nothing is impossible if you set your priorities right. A crowded schedule won’t necessarily decrease your chances of succeeding in your studies when you’re working full-time or when you have a family.
From my personal experience, I always did better at school when I had more things on my schedules. Every time I decide to minimize my course load for a particular semester, I end up doing worse than when I had registered for more classes.
The reason is simple — the more free time you have, the more likely you are to postpone your tasks until the last minute. By doing that, you become a procrastinator and eventually end up achieving less than what you should have.
“It’s all about prioritizing and knowing that this too shall pass. Recognizing your education is important and so is your family and so is your work and taking it day by day.”
The best part is that you can always choose to do online education. It is more practical as it allows you to access your studies wherever you are. The variety of online programs will give you the flexibility to attend classes from the comfort of your own space.
Whether you’re 25, 35, or 50 years old — it’s never too late to go back to school. Learning has no deadline, so let’s stop putting more pressure on ourselves. There are endless reasons why one could want to go back to school as an adult, and no one should ever feel embarrassed about it. If you wish to take classes for the love of learning something new — go for it!
If anything, there are many resources and programs out there for those who prefer to study remotely. As an adult, you’re most likely going to be more responsible and organized, so believe in yourself and know that there is no limit to what you can achieve.