Going back to school is a big step. Anyone considering it might have some questions. Thinking through these questions on your own, with family or with the help of friends can support you in deciding whether or not going back to school is right for you. Here’s how you can address four common questions that may cause you worry and overcome them.
“Is it too late for me to go back to school?”
If you’re a “non-traditional” student, you may feel like you’ve passed your chance to earn a degree or further your education. But research shows that non-traditional students are the new normal. Approximately 73 percent of college students are categorized as non-traditional based on factors such as employment, need for caregiving services (e.g. childcare, elderly care), and delayed enrollment. In short, you’re not alone, and it’s never too late to continue your education.
“Will I have the time?”
If you’re juggling multiple responsibilities such as work and family, the idea of adding another item to your plate may feel daunting. While going back to school is a serious time commitment, online degree programs provide great flexibility in when you study and the pace at which you can complete courses. This allows you to create a school schedule that works with your daily life instead of the other way around. Here are a few tips on how to prioritize school while managing other life obligations:
- Set a study schedule and stick to it – Keeping consistent with your studies will help you hold yourself accountable and be more productive.
- Designate a set study space – Find a place in your home that is free from distractions and can be used only for completing schoolwork. Having a designated space will help keep you focused when it’s time to hit the books.
- Set aside time for friends and family, too – You know what they say about “all work and no play.” Scheduling time to spend with the people you love will help you maintain a work-school-life balance.
“Can I afford to go back to school?”
Going back to school does cost money, but it’s also an investment in your future. Fortunately, many online programs are significantly more affordable than traditional colleges and universities. Additionally, the flexible schedule of online courses allows you to work while you complete your program, so your finances don’t have to take a major hit.
“What if I fail?”
The fear of failure is completely normal. But it shouldn’t hold you back from achieving your goals. Like most things worth having in life, completing a degree program will be hard at times. One of the best ways to ease your worries and set yourself up for success is to talk about it with your loved ones, whether it’s your spouse, family members, coworkers or friends. Not only will talking about it help calm your fears, it also provides an opportunity to flag things they can do to help you succeed. When you have a strong support system, any challenge you may face will seem a lot less scary.
Thinking about furthering your education? Ashworth College offers a variety of online courses. Learn more about our flexible, self-paced online degree programs.