The kids are growing up, and it’s been years since you taxed your brain with learning and the desire to go back to college is stirring. But how can you be sure that studying in mid-life is for you?
There are a myriad of things to consider if you are pondering whether you can go back to college, and it’s not an easy decision to make. If you have found something you would like to learn more about, it’s at least worth taking the time to figure out if you can fit study into what is probably already a busy life. Here are some things to think about.
Can you balance this with being a parent? Are classes run during school-time, so you can do the drop-off and get to college, or are they at the same time as the dinner/bed rush hour at home? The timing of classes can make quite a difference.
Can you get help? How good is your support network in terms of family and friends? Are there Government-related sources of help available, in the form of childcare, or supplements? Perhaps the college itself has a programme to help students like you.
Can you pay the bills? Study does take time, and the need to bring in money does not go away with exams and so forth. Maybe you still need to work whilst studying, but then a part-time course might do the trick. It will take longer to get the end result, but maybe you can continue to work and handle your other obligations at the same time. Distance learning is another great way for mums to learn from home, without the need to trek into classes.
How will it impact on your relationship? Is your partner supportive, will they muck in when needed? You will need to make expectations and needs clear from the outset.
How will you handle being older than the other students? This can be tricky for some middle-aged college attendees. The key is to remember what you are there for, if you focus on your end goal, you will be surprised at what you can achieve.
It’s sometimes hard to go to back college when you are older, but in the long-term it has great benefits for your self confidence, and even possibly your earning potential. Before you scrap the idea, think it through and if it’s feasible – why not!