While I have been a college graduate for just shy of a month, I wanted to share some thoughts on the things I have learned from going back to school as an adult.
- Know your Learning Style! This is so VERY important! I learn best by classroom interaction and conversation. I show what I learn best by writing a paper or doing a project. I do not test well. I was very fortunate to have professors who worked WITH me and allowed me to write papers instead of taking tests. They knew I knew the information. Thank you Dr. Spaulding! Stretch yourself in how you take classes. During my first semester in college I took courses with underclassmen who were just fresh babes out of high school. It was refreshing to see things through their eyes but I was also able to bring my life experiences into the classroom. I then went to my co-hart and adult classes, one night a week in which I thrived. Once I got married I lived a little too far to drive to campus once a week and I took classes online. I knew this would be a challenge as I am NOT an online learner!
- Come expectant and ready to be stretched because YOU will be stretched! I didn’t have a clue what to expect coming into college as an adult. All I knew was that I would receive a piece of paper that would enable me to have other career opportunities. I am so glad that I finished and went OVER the mountains that at times seemed impassable.
- Having at least one person if not more in your life that has your end result at hand will keep you focused on the end result is VITAL! I can not tell you how many times I wanted to give up! I am grateful I had my husband to kick me in the butt and keep me focused. My kids motivated me, my parents motivated me and my friend Kevin motivated me! I would not be where I am without the pushing of all these people. My advisor pushed me and told me I could do just when I thought I couldn’t. Do NOT isolate yourself!
- You have to give up to go up! Yes, there are times where you will have important deadlines and you will have to choose between an activity or the assignment. My advisor actually told me that sometimes you have to prioritize and if that means missing a Sunday in church to get your homework done then do it. School is for a season.
- Reach out to your professors WHEN you are struggling. I will not say IF but WHEN because you WILL struggle. Going back to school as an adult versus a young person is totally different. Your professors WANT you to succeed! They are for YOU! I saw Grace more time than I care to count by professors who were FOR me! Grace in action is beautiful!
- Finally WALK ACROSS THAT STAGE!! Yeah it may cost you some money for the cap and gown but it is SO WORTH IT!!!!!!!!