From the Workplace to the Classroom: How to Adjust

From the Workplace to the Classroom: How to Adjust

It’s no secret that more working professionals are returning to school. Whether it’s to pursue a degree they’ve always been interested in, obtain a higher degree than the one they’ve got already or in the attempt to move up in career by completing a certificate program, going back to the classroom environment after years of being in the workforce can be somewhat of a culture shock. However, there are ways to make this transition one that is less stressful and overwhelming.

Plan Properly
Instead of just jumping in and signing up for classes, it is better to use strategy when trying to squeeze a class schedule into your work schedule. Evaluate your current job schedule and note what days and times you have available to attend classes. For example, professionals with traditional 9-5 jobs may want to look into night classes so that the two don’t conflict. Those that have workloads and projects that are not always consistent, may want to turn to online learning since this educational option allows students to complete their studies from anywhere that has a reliable Internet connection.

By blocking out days and time frames during the week to dedicate to school, it will be much easier when it comes time to choose your classes.

Communicate With Your Boss
It’s always a good idea to let your boss and other superiors know that you plan on returning to school. In most cases, employers wholeheartedly support employees that are trying to better themselves, especially if the motivation is to acquire or brush up on skills related to their career. Some companies even offer tuition reimbursement or other incentives to encourage its employees to continue their education. It is best to discuss your plans with the higher ups before signing up for classes so that all the details can be ironed out before going through the effort of registering.

Don’t Give In to Intimidation
10 years ago the appearance of someone in their 30s, 40s, 50s and even beyond in a college classroom may have raised a few eyebrows but these days, the demographics of many college campuses are growing to include the influx of working professionals. Traditional students now include much older individuals, many of whom have more years of career training than the actual age of their classmates. Because of this new trend, there is no need to worry about getting strange looks or snickers from regular students. There is also no need to feel that you’re in competition with anyone you’re taking classes with. Make the effort to get to know the people you’re sitting next to. Not only can they help you learn how to be more comfortable with being back in the classroom, you’ll more than likely become someone they can turn to for advice as well.

Have a Support System
One of the most effective ways to adjust to going back to school is to have a strong support system in place. Individuals such as your family, best friends, coworkers and significant other are all great sources. Your support group should be comprised of people that understand your goals, are naturally positive and will keep you going, even when you don’t want to. Additionally, it helps to have one or two people in your support group that you can vent to about anything that’s bothering you.