You wake up every day to return to the same job you have been dragging yourself to for years. Another day of performing work that, let’s face it, it was fine 10 years ago, but is starting to wear you down.
You’ve always been interested in helping people, or computers, or nursing, or (insert your interest here) but you’re not sure if you can hack going to college at this point. You don’t have time. You’re afraid of math. Your cat wants you home at night. The excuses are endless.
“For most adult learners, college really is possible,” says Debra Boucher, assistant director of enrollment services at Mount Wachusett Community College in Massachusetts, an adult learner who returned to college herself.
“I didn’t do well in high school.”
You might have been really great at baseball or football while you were in high school. You might have slept in until noon on the weekends. You might have worn flip-flops in the winter. Who you were in high school has little relevance to who you are today. Your values, interests, and yes, your skills, have evolved.
You might be a great student today though you weren’t when you were younger. You’re more motivated. You have a lot of great experience to draw upon. You’re more mature.
“We have students come in who are absolutely brilliant and have no idea of their potential,” says Boucher. “Returning to college ends up being such a confidence-builder for them.”
“I don’t have the time.”
We’re all doing a million things. However, think of the time that is wasted in your life when you’re unhappy with your career path. You may constantly go shopping, eat out, or play mindless games on the computer, all in an attempt to feed yourself because your profession is not feeding you.
You will probably find that, when you begin learning material that resonates with you, you will have a lot more energy and time to get the work done than you thought.
Community colleges know all about busy adults. One popular option is taking online classes. Students can take their classes when their children go to bed, on their lunch breaks, or whenever it’s convenient for them.
“I don’t know what I want to study.”
You know that you want to earn a degree in something, you just aren’t sure what that something is yet! Do you keep putting off college until the bolt of inspiration comes?
Start by making an appointment with your college’s career office to take an assessment that will help you figure out your interests and the types of careers would suit you.
“I can’t afford it.”
Financial aid and scholarships are available for both full-time and part-time students and a majority of community college students receive some sort of financial aid.
Fill out the FAFSA form, the first step in the financial aid process, by going to www.fafsa.ed.gov.
And many colleges have payment plans allowing you to pay your bill monthly instead of in one lump sum.