For those of us who dropped out of college the first time, or put off having any further education at all, there is often the nagging feeling about wanting to go back and get some sort of formal qualification, whether it be a Bachelor’s degree, an Associate’s degree, or any one of a variety of technical or vocational certificates.
The thought of returning to school after a break can be daunting, especially for more mature students, or for those who have been away from structured education for many years. But the rewards of bettering yourself with further education far outweigh those of staying in your comfort zone, both in terms of practical benefits as well as emotional ones.
While it may be true that you have managed to support yourself so far without any fancy diplomas, and many jobs do not specifically require you to have any kind of formal degree, the truth is that these days, further education always helps. You can significantly improve your chances of getting the jobs that you want, as well as being qualified for even better ones.
It’s also essential to consider the psychological benefits — setting upon and completing any course of study brings a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, and the resulting boost in self-confidence can help you not just in your job search, but overall in your personal life as well. However, if you really want to do this, you must prepare to steel yourself against imagined barriers.
Don’t let yourself use your age as an excuse not do do things, or not to do them to the best of your ability. There is no evidence to suggest that older people have lower cognitive abilities than younger people, and in fact your life experience and previous knowledge and can help you figure out many things that the younger students may struggle with. So don’t sell yourself short just because you’re not in the first flush of youth anymore.
Plenty of students your age and older have gone back to school, some even for advanced courses like law degrees and medicine. Think of it this way: be thankful you made the decision to start now rather than twenty years from now.
It’s never too late to make a fresh start in any area of education. I myself didn’t go to college until I was in my late twenties, and although I was worried about being the oldest person there, in reality there were many, many students several decades older than I was, and nobody made a big deal about it. Once you’ve started down the road to further education, it’s important to keep going.
This may seem obvious, but many times even younger students run into obstacles that make them want to quit school (in fact, this may have happened to you if you did attempt higher education before).
This feeling of wanting to throw in the towel may be even more intense for you now, because when things get difficult, it can be easy to convince yourself that you don’t really need all the hassle.
After all, you’ve managed to get this far without any certificates or diplomas, right? But the truth is, if your life really was going that well, you probably wouldn’t have come to the decision to return to school in the first place. So stick to your guns and don’t let the difficult times get you down. Remember your goals; keep them clearly focused in your mind.
Don’t forget that learning to deal with hurdles now, in school, is good preparation for the more general challenges you might face after you get your diploma or degree, when it’s time to apply your skills in the real world. Most of all, though, have fun! School isn’t all about hard work, it’s also a rich opportunity to interact with people who share your interests.
By choosing to continue your education, you have given yourself a wonderful chance not only to improve your career or start a new one, but also to develop into a more well-rounded individual on a personal level.
Pic of the Day: Rabbit vs Bunny