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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I start university for the first time on the twenty third, and as the day gets closer the more nervous and on edge I get. I've wanted to get a degree for twenty years, and now that I have my chance I've an overwhelming fear I'm going to either fail or something will go wrong with finances.

Does anyone have any advice on how to make it through the next four years? I know I still have a family and household to tend to while doing my studies so any advice on scheduling or such would be most welcome. Thank you all so much!:rose:
 

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you have nothing to be worried about. my husband went back last year for the first time at the age of 30 and he was scared to death.

you will do fine. it may take a while to adjust with your schedule, but once you get in the groove of things hopefully it will go smoothly for you.

one piece of advice I can offer....DO NOT wait until the last minute to do assignments. my husband has learned the hard way about that. I can't count how many nights he has stayed up past 2 am working on things and then have to be at work the next morning.

Good luck to you
 

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Go for it, my dear, and enjoy every moment! What a privilege! I am a mostly retired teacher, but have taught lots of non-traditional students over the years. I've seen those who succeeded and those who failed. Here's a little advice from a teacher. I'm sure you'll also get advice from fellow students.

1. Don't worry about being older. Most older students are ready to seriously study and not party. That's to your advantage.
2. You know what it means to make a living and work for your wages. That is going to make you more serious about doing well.
3. Stay in close contact with your instructors. Ask lots of questions. Come early and stay after class to ask questions. As a teacher, I appreciate those who ask lots of questions.
4. Ask your instructor if you can email them questions over the weekend.
5. Take notes or use a recorder. Ask your instructor if your notes are correct.
6. Read all assignments. Mark up your books with whatever codes work for you: highlight, underline, star, write in the margins, etc. Make flashcards for anything that has definitions.
7. Plan to study every subject every night, whether you have homework or not. Being older means you have to put a little more time in on reading and reviewing.
8. Determine that you will have to give up things, events that are important to you. You won't have enough time or energy. Ask yourself if you are willing to give it up now.
9. Don't fall behind on homework. My students get late grades, and the student who habitually has late grades often fails. Don't get too creative: follow directions!
 
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My oldest daughter started today. She was nervous but she was ok when she came home.
 

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I just finished a degree a month ago, and I'm 56. If I can do it, you can too - I also work and have two teens that I homeschool and run a household.
Having said that- my two bits of advice are:
1) Do something school-wise every day (except Sunday). Anything is better than procrastination! Oncw you establish the habit, you're light years ahead of the teenagers in the class!
2) Do not let more than 15 minutes go by trying to figure something out. If 15 minutes have passed and you're still stumped, email or call your instructor or a fellow student.

Good luck and keep us posted. What are you studying?
 

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Don't wait to find or form a study group until finals. Meeting with classmates the entire semester, to review material, is a great way of keeping up without getting overwhelmed.

Never go to class hungry. You'll pay more attention to your stomach and feel miserable the whole time. A few granola bars in your bookbag can be lifesavers.

The second year is when most students start to find things overwhelming and drop out. Hang in there.

You need study time at home when you can be alone with your work. No kids, no tv, no interruptions. Family needs to understand how important this is and respect it. If you can't do it at home, go to the local public library for an hour.

Your priorities will change. Housekeeping might get lax. Friends might think you've forgotten them. TV seems to take up time you could be studying. You have a goal. It takes 4 years. Dust and dirty socks and the soap operas aren't as important in the long run.
 

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forHisglory's advice is spot on. I'm almost 47 and going to community college, finishing up my first year. I plan on transferring to get my BA after graduation.

Some things I find helpful:

Speak up and don't be afraid to ask questions in class.

Periodically re-review your syllabi. You'll have papers and projects due at certain times and this will help you plan ahead for them. Consider keeping a planner, either on-line or one you carry with you.

I know it goes without saying, but show up for all your classes. Don't miss any unless you can't avoid it. My profs like to give micro-quizzes worth a few points during class, and they add up. A lot of times they like to give them on days when a lot of students are absent, as a reward to those who are present. There may be times when they are enough to bump your grade up to the next higher grade. Also, you may miss out on important info if you miss the lecture.

Sign up for tutoring. And sign up for lab classes for the classes you know you will need extra help in, like math or english.

Try not to take math and english in the same semester, if you can help it. They both tend to be homework-intensive. And I am taking both math and english this semester and it's kind of kicking my butt, but I'm getting A's so far. But I put a LOT of study/homework hours in a week. So keep that in mind.

We are not 20-something anymore. You will get fatigued. Take care of yourself, and rest when you need to. When studying/doing homework, take a 5-10 min. break every hour. Take a walk. Eat something.

When you're ready to throw your textbook against the wall, take a break. Then switch subjects - start working on your science (or whatever) homework instead.

The first few weeks of the new semester are hectic and overwhelming. It really will get better. :) You'll get into a groove and settle down.

Classes and homework are my priority. Errands, appointments, etc. are next. Housework is last. That's just the way it is. I can catch up between semesters. (our college is on a traditional school schedule)

Talk to the other students in your classes! Its fun to get to meet new people, that you wouldn't normally have an opportunity to get to know. Also, they are full of extremely helpful information, like which math class has the most helpful prof, which classes are lighter homework, which classes are most interesting, etc. After a couple semesters, you'll also get to tell other students which classes and teachers are good.

Research your textbook prices. I've found that I can get my books a lot cheaper on-line than at the college bookstore. Resell them at the end of the semester.

And don't forget to fill out your FAFSA if you need financial aid.

Lastly, take a deep breath! If I can do this, you can, too. :D

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone for responding. Your advice was really helpful and I think I just might make it after all.

I'm going for a B.S. in human services in order to become a social worker, and I am really forward to starting in that career.

Again, thank you all and *big hugs* to each of you!
 

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Tracergal, I went through college at night, while working a full-time job. It took me seven years that way, but I got my degree. Just remember, if something DOES happen to get in the way, it is not as if you have to start all over again. Here in CA, I believe (it has been a few years) that you can miss up to two years and still stay under the same schedule as you started (i.e, all the core classes remain the same). And even if you miss more than that, all your classes still count toward the degree. If you fail a class, guess what, you can take it again!! :)

So there is no real way to fail, except to give up, and if you waited this long, I don't see you choosing that route.

Good luck and have fun!!!
 

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I went back to college at your age. One thing I really like was that I was no longer concerned with what was going on socially with the younger crowd. So time wise I really did have more time.

Try to schedule some classes that are basic fundamental classes or a class you are really interested in to help ease you back into the whole school routine.
 

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Hi tracergal007! Fist off...Congratulations!!!!! Second...do not be afraid. I finished my BS in Social Psychology in 09. I was also a SAHM and a volunteer executive director of a non-profit organization. The best advice I can give you, is to not focus on the end result. Four years seems do intimidating. I focused on one semester at a time. I studied when my children napped and went to bed. I did homework on the weekends when DH was off work to watch the kiddos. I conducted most of my research while the kiddos played in the yard or watched cartoons. It might not be the easiest thing you ever did...but I promise it wont be the hardest either. Good luck to you. You will do great!!!
 

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Go you!

HEY~

I'm currently going back to school at the age of 30 and love it! As far as failing, you won't. In my program we just had our *weed-out* term and I aced it! My only advice is do whatever works for YOU, studying with other people, not studying with other people, writing everything down, note cards, etc. That is what has gotten me through!

I HIGHLY recommend a recorder, you can get one that works great for about $50 and they are fantastic.

The other thing is if you do find a study partner you work well with, hang on to them! My secret weapon this term is Jenny, we talk things out, quiz each other, think up silly ways to remember things. I can't tell you how many times I've thanked her after a test because something silly she came up with helped me on a test.

Also don't worry about what the other students are doing, like I said before do what is right for you! Also I've found something weird happens to kids when they hit college, if they are good kids at heart they turn into decent human beings (I had a hard time in high school ;)). Although I'm 10 years older then alot of them and there are a few in my program that much older then me we all get along and have so much fun! Just be yourself! You are going to be and do so great! It will be hard, really hard, but it will ALWAYS feel worth it after words.

Good luck! If you need to bunch ideas off someone or something is confusing you, please feel free to pm me. :)

~Katybug
 

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we really need a LOVE button for this one!! I agree 1,000% you cannot fail unless you give up
Yeah! Also, don't let one bad grade, test, class or week set you back! I've seen people in my program fail a test, or a project or really bomb something. Cry a little, dust yourself off, find out what isn't working, change it and carry on! (I know this from PERSONAL experience).

:cheer4:
 

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Congratulations and good luck!

I went back at the age of 38. It took a while to settle into a routine but it worked. I agree with everyone else here on the thread and my two best friends were my recorder and my planner. Both of them saved my life! You will be fine and have the time of your life. :)
 

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Congratulations and good luck!

I went back at the age of 38. It took a while to settle into a routine but it worked. I agree with everyone else here on the thread and my two best friends were my recorder and my planner. Both of them saved my life! You will be fine and have the time of your life. :)
I forgot about that! You don't even need a fancy one, just print out a calendar online, that is what I've used. :)
 
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