Simply skating through college and getting the work done isn’t anyone’s idea of a great college experience. If you just want to tread water and get a piece of paper in the end, maybe college isn’t for you. As an adult learner, it’s safe to say you probably want to thrive and grow during the course of your college career.
It cannot be understated that adult learners have a leg up on students entering college straight out of high school. You have maturity, professional and life experience, and the skills needed to juggle it all.
When the road seems long and unending, remember: you were made to excel and to achieve great things. Keep in mind some of these basic tips:
1. Seek a balance.
Rest is an essential part of the human condition. Everyone needs it, everyone benefits from it. Seek and establish a balance between work, school, family and friends. Don’t get sucked into the vortex of research papers, tests and studying. The better able you are to shift gears, the better you’ll feel and the more you will accomplish in each of your roles.
2. Be prepared to feel overwhelmed.
College is a season of character building. There’s a lot going in your life right now. Expect to have moments where it seems a bit too much. As odd as it might seem, be prepared to feel completely unprepared. The trick is knowing that you’re not the only one feeling that way, and that there are methods to prevent overwhelm.
3. Become an expert on course requirements and due dates.
Your professors will give you all the details you need to be successful. Memorize the syllabus. You’ll be saving yourself a lot of heartache if you know what you need to do throughout your course.
Knowing when you have papers due, presentations, and test dates seems like a no-brainer. And it probably is. That doesn’t mean it isn’t something you just might overlook. However you choose to organize yourself and your calendar is unique to you. If you have to write it in a planner, that’s fantastic. If you have to send yourself faxes from the future, even better. Do not forget due dates and find yourself scrambling the night before.
4. Develop a time management system and stay on top of your assignments.
When you’re keeping on track and making sure all your responsibilities are staying under control, you’re going to feel like you are thriving. Establishing a time management system will make your life as an adult student much easier and much more enjoyable. Don’t allow yourself to be swamped by all the different things you have to maintain. Never put off what can be done today.
5. Get a study partner or study group.
Making the trek solo isn't an indicator of success. In each course, find a study partner or a small study group. You’ll develop lasting relationships with people that will benefit you (and them) in the present and the future. As a working adult, you understand the importance of networking and relying on others to help improve your own skills. Iron sharpens iron. Study groups make for a better student.
Thriving in college isn’t out of reach or a cheesy catchphrase. At SNU, the faculty and staff want for you to thrive during your time at the university. Use all of SNU student resources, lean on your fellow students and your family, and you will make the most of your college experience.