Returning to Education: A Guide for Mature Students Starting Fresh


Embracing the decision to return to education as a mature student can be both exhilarating and challenging. Whether you’re seeking to enhance your career prospects, pursue a passion, or simply fulfill a lifelong dream, this guide will equip you with the necessary tools to navigate the challenges and make the most of your educational experience.

Identify Your Goals and Motivation

  • Reflect on your personal motivations and define your goals for returning to education.
  • Consider the knowledge, skills, or qualifications you wish to acquire and how they align with your long-term aspirations.
  • Write down your goals and revisit them regularly to stay focused and motivated during challenging times.

Research Academic Programs

  • Explore a wide range of academic programs and institutions to find the one that best suits your interests and goals.
  • Consider factors such as program structure, flexibility, and accreditation.
  • Look for programs that offer tailored support services for mature students.

Prepare Financially

  • Evaluate the financial implications of returning to education and create a realistic budget.
  • Research scholarships, grants, and financial aid options available specifically for mature students.
  • Consider part-time work or flexible job opportunities that can support your studies.

Build a Support System

  • Inform your family, friends, and loved ones about your decision to return to education and seek their understanding and support.
  • Connect with other mature students through online forums or campus organizations to share experiences and build a supportive network.
  • Utilize the resources provided by the educational institution, such as academic advisors and counseling services.

Develop Effective Study Skills

  • Refresh your study skills by familiarizing yourself with effective note-taking techniques, time management strategies, and research methods.
  • Create a study schedule that accommodates your other responsibilities and allows for consistent progress.
  • Seek out workshops or courses on study skills offered by the educational institution or online platforms.

Embrace Technology and Online Learning

  • Familiarize yourself with the technology and digital tools commonly used in educational settings, such as MS Word, Excel, etc.
  • Take advantage of online learning platforms and resources to enhance your knowledge and skills.
  • Actively participate in online discussions, forums, and virtual study groups to engage with fellow students and instructors.

Overcome Challenges and Self-Doubt

  • Understand that challenges and self-doubt are natural parts of the learning process.
  • Practice self-care and maintain a positive mindset to overcome obstacles.
  • Seek support from professors, mentors, or counselors when facing academic or personal difficulties.

Returning to education as a mature student is a courageous and transformative decision. By identifying your goals, researching academic programs, preparing financially, building a support system, developing effective study skills, embracing technology, and overcoming challenges, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on this rewarding educational journey. Remember, it’s never too late to pursue your dreams and start a new career.

At Brighton College, we understand the fears that come with going back to school, and our student support services are here to help. For more information, fill out the form below and an Educational Advisor will be in touch.

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