Thursday, December 21, 2006

Going back to School

Adults can be successful in returning to school no matter what their age. It may not be easy, but it will certainly be worth it; it can even be fun, as long as you take the necessary steps to ensure success and happiness.

First of all, you need to sit down and figure out your priorities. As an adult returning to school, we often have families to take care of, jobs to hold down and a wide variety of other obligations. Family comes first, but in order to care of our families we need to make our jobs a priority. This is something you've probably known for quite some time now.

But here's a new priority to add to the list: your education, which will get you a better job, which will allow you to simultaneously take better care of, and spend more time with, your family. This may seem obvious, but it's something that you'll need to remember when the dog needs to be fed, the lawn needs to be mowed or the boss wants you to come in on Saturday. You need to make a real commitment to your education every day, realizing that it just may be the most important thing you could do with your time.

That said, the biggest roadblock to returning to school later in life is getting back into that zone where you have to read, take notes, write papers and study for exams. I know from personal experience that it can be very difficult to sit at the table and study rather than sitting in front of the TV and resting after a long day of work. But as I said, it doesn't have to be a struggle; if you keep your eye on the prize, the school work will be enjoyable.

Every minute you spend rereading a text, going over your notes, getting ahead in your classwork, is money in the bank. It's investing in yourself, building up a wealth of knowledge and experience in yourself that makes you more valuable in the real world. It's like fixing up an old house to turn around and sell: spend the night there, work with joy and enthusiasm knowing that each strike of the hammer brings you one step closer to a better life for you and your family.

Make the commitment, take the plunge, remember why you're there, and you're sure to have success in your educational endeavors!

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