Top Ten Tips... Getting Back Into Education After a Break
While many students head back into the classroom in September, this can be daunting if it’s been a little longer than 6 weeks since your last foray into education. Here at cHRysos HR, we are huge supporters of lifelong learning and believe that age doesn’t matter when it comes to your education and development.
Whether you're a new mum looking to study while on maternity leave or someone who wants new qualifications to make that career change you’ve been dreaming of, take a look at our Top Ten Tips for getting back into education after a break...
1. Set aside time for your studies
If you’re an adult learner, chances are you might find yourself juggling your studies with a busy family life, work commitments and hobbies. Whether you are enrolling on a short-term course or something which will take a year or more, you need to realistically think about what time you can dedicate to your studies. Take a look at your schedule and allocate whatever time you can and then stick to it. Don’t be deterred if some of the things you do in your free time have to take a back seat for a while.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you’ve got your new goals in sight, it’s likely that to get there you might need some help along the way! Talk to your boss or manager at work and let them know what your plans and ambitions are. They may even allow you to implement hybrid working so you can meet your course deadlines. You can also speak to your family about the extra commitment you are taking on and ask for whatever support you need to help make your home life a little more stress-free.
3. Find out your preferred learning style
Everyone likes to learn in different ways and knowing your learning style is important to help you get started on the right foot. If you like to learn alone in a quiet space, then you will need to think about a suitable location and how you can find time away from family commitments and the workplace. If you feel happier when learning with others then why not set up study dates with friends on your course?
4. Keep it varied!
They say variety is the spice of life – why not use it to spice up your learning too? Keeping yourself interested in your subject matter is key when it comes to staying motivated and excited about your new course. This means you might not want to be staring into a textbook for hours at a time! Look for a blended learning programme that allows you to combine different methods of studying and training as this will give you a more well-rounded experience and is sure to keep you interested!
5. Create an action plan
Most educators will tell you that planning and preparation is the secret to successful learning. Creating an action plan can help you focus on the individual steps you need to take to complete whatever module or essay you’re working on, and can even help with exam preparation. Plus, you can see how far you’ve come by crossing each action off as you achieve it. This is a great source of motivation! Why not ask your course tutor or teacher to help you with this step?
6. Location, location, location
If you need to get your head down and concentrate on your studies, then your time management skills will be essential but so is finding the right space and environment to help you learn. It might be that you prefer a classroom-like environment, in which case your local library could be ideal, where you’ll have access to all the books, free WiFi and computers you need. For a quiet study oasis, why not head home and de-clutter your spare room or dining area? If you thrive in a busy environment, then your local coffee shop or work cafeteria might be the ideal place for you.
7. Study with your family
For older students, you may have a busy household with children in school, college or university. If so, why not schedule study time together? You can lead by example and show them how important it is to set time aside for learning and how rewarding it can be. You could try to make it as fun as possible by having study snacks and a quiz about what you have learned. And the best part? You get to decide as a family what your reward will be once you have finished!
8. Stay motivated
Staying motivated while juggling your work/life balance can be one of the most difficult things about taking on extra study. There will be times when you’d prefer to be spending your free time on the sofa with your favourite box set or having fun with your family and friends. Think about what motivates you! You could add milestones to your calendar to show how far you’ve come or pin-up motivational messages in your office to help you feel positive and inspired.
9. Celebrate your achievements
As mentioned in the point above, celebrating your achievements and seeing how far you’ve come can be a huge motivator! Why not set yourself rewards for the milestones you have reached? This might be anything from an evening out at your favourite restaurant for every module completed, to a well-earned holiday once you have graduated. You should be proud of every step you’ve completed – don’t forget to show it!
10. Remember why you’re there
Remember that the big difference between adult learning and going to school is that you've made the decision to further your education on your own. This could be because you're passionate about the topic you're studying or because you’re eager to advance your career and are thinking about moving jobs. If you’re struggling to balance things at the moment or you can feel your motivation waning, remember why you started down this path and be proud of how far you’ve come!
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cHRysos HR Solutions is a Doncaster based HR training and consultancy company providing CIPD accredited qualifications, Apprenticeships, Training and HR Services to SMEs nationwide. For more information about how cHRysos HR can help you or your teams successfully achieve further qualifications, contact us on email@example.com or call +44 (0)1302 802128.