Tips on Returning to School as an Adult

Many older people choose to return to college or start college for the first time for a variety of different reasons. For those that are attending for the first time, more opportunity is often the reason. As young adults, they may have been forced to work or lacked the funds to go to school and as mature adults, they may finally have the opportunity. For others, the reasons can be equally as varied, however, career advancement is often the most common reason. However, regardless of the reasons, there are several benefits that come from being an older student.


As a fresh-faced 18-year-old living on your own for the first time, you are usually giddy, excited, and distracted. Although you’re in college to learn it can be very difficult for a young person who is experiencing total freedom for the first time to get down to the brass tacks of studying. There’s so much going and so much to see and do and school often gets put on the back burner or only receives half of your attention.

The mature student has been on his or her own for quite some time and tends to have a “been there done that” type attitude because they have. This creates a calmer more focused student. Often, the most exciting thing that the older student will discover will be found on the pages of a book and be very much a part of their education or career advancement. The focus is undeniable. If the older student needs to use a sticker maker to label all his or her books so that they can easily get to them, they will. This mature focus makes it easier for them to do what they need to do in order to position themselves for success.


With age comes experience and maturity. The mature student who returns to school is often paying for it himself or herself. That alone creates a more serious scholar. They know how much money their education is costing them and they are serious about getting their money’s worth.

Fewer Distractions

Mature students often have fewer social clubs and extracurricular activities that they are involved with. This leaves more time to focus and really zero in on what they want to achieve by going to school. This is very different from their younger counterparts who often burn the candle at both ends with loads of social activities and extracurriculars on top of school.

It may be a bit nervewracking to take the plunge and return to school surrounded by people half your age, however as a mature person, you are hardwired for success. Your focus, maturity, and lack of viable distractions set you up to maximize your education. You already have the framework to achieve anything you want educationally because of these traits.

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