10 Tips for Adult College Students

Ten weeks ago when I started this journey of college I was nervous. Okay, slightly more than nervous but it was something I knew I wanted, so I jumped in. Now that I'm not exactly a newbie anymore I have some helpful tips for all you adult college students (or prospective students) out there. They might seem common sense but for me they weren't. 

1. Buy a planner. By this I don't mean "find a cute planner and never use it." I've done that too. Not helpful. Buy a planner and use it to keep track of due dates, study time, other events, etc.

2. Use binders. For me, binders for each class seems to work the best. I have a note taking section, a folder, and dividers so I can get organized. Everyone is different. If binders don't work for you, then skip this advice.

3. Schedule your study time. As I hinted in the first tip, scheduling your time is important. If you don't plan to study, you likely won't. This also helps you to separate between family and study time. Initially I struggled with this but once I planned out my time better it helped.

4. Shut off the Facebook/E-mail notifications on your cellphone. This is helpful always but especially when you are trying to study. I'm one of those people who cannot ignore a notification on my phone. I simply must clear it. And then, while I'm there, I might just surf around the Internet. It is a huge time suck.

5. Take regular breaks. Once you actually are studying/doing homework don't overwhelm yourself by having marathons. This will drain you. Take a snack break or even just a breather. Step away, do something else, and just relax. Then, when you come back you will be all set to really dig in and learn.

6. Use flashcards. For me, this was one of the best things I could have done. Granted, it was mandatory for my last class but I would have anyway. Repetition is key when trying to grab hold of complicated material. 

7. Be patient with yourself. If you are like me, it has been quite a while since you were in school. It may take a bit to get your memory and study skills back.

8. Choose to not procrastinate. This is particularly difficult for me but it makes sense. When I procrastinate I tend to notice my stress level goes up. Just do your work as you get it and don't let it just sit there.

9. Celebrate the little things. Let's say you get an "A" on a test. Celebrate it. Yes! It will motivate you to continue.

10. Write down your long-term goals when you start school. This will help you when you are having a tough time or wondering why the heck you decided to go back to school "at your age". Trust me.

I used these tips this last five weeks and it really helped me. I ended up getting a 100% on my final! Honestly, I'm still in shock. While I can't guarantee you a certain score on your test, I can tell you that these things will help you as they did me.

Do you do any of these tips already or do you have any new ones for me?

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1 comment

Jessy Bradford said...

I love this list! I would add, "Don't be hard on yourself." It's okay if you don't do as well as you thought you would. We all learn from our mistakes, and it will let you know what you need to work on. :)

I have been keeping tabs on you, and you are doing fantastic! I always knew you could be successful at college. :)