School Angst

I mentioned that I’m going back to school. The decision itself is a hard one, especially for an older adult going back. There are so many factors that affect the decision that you begin to second guess yourself even though you know it is the right decision.

Time.

Cost.

Benefits from the end result.

All things that worry the returning adult.

But you never think about the actual process.

When you go to college right out of high school, the process is streamlined. There is a school counselor that helps or should help the student get organized and situated. There are certain deadlines and lots of reminders for high school students.  For adults…not so much.

You’re on your own, Baby!

All the research for schools, the deadlines, the scholarships, the assessment tests, registration, and financial aide, that’s all up to you to figure out. Don’t get me wrong, there are entrance counselors at college that specialize in getting you organized, but up until that point is all self-motivated. So much of it has to be done simultaneously or in the right order. For an adult with a full life, it can make a person begin to question their decision.

I’m one of those people who think long and hard about a decision before committing to a course of action, but once I’ve decided, I want to get a move on. College isn’t like that. There is a lot of waiting. Waiting for the government to get back to you on the FAFSA. Waiting for transcripts. Waiting for advisers and books and registers. The list goes on and on. Then if you hit a snag…oh man! Some extra info that is needed or something that has to be resubmitted can halt the whole process.  It makes a person antsy.

Another thing that I’ve come to realize is that as an adult, I’m going to have to learn how to learn.  I’m doing online school and I’m starting to realize how convoluted websites can be. You can find info from a thousand different ways except for the info you need. Just because it is an institution of higher learning does not mean that they have an efficient website. I’ve spent hours searching for info that I need only to find out that you have to call for that info. I can be really frustrating.

There is also the online forums and clubs. I’m going to have to learn a whole new world of online society. Some of it is voluntary, but some of it is for class. I’ve never been a really social person. Meeting new people face to face is hard, but to randomly pick someone online and start up a conversation is daunting. I’m feeling archaic.

I plan to stick with this and keep going, but just wanted to give out a cautionary note. College isn’t easy especially for returning adults. If you are going back to school or have been thinking about it, just keep in mind that it will be frustrating learning how to go about learning. Keep your chin up and keep going, it will eventually make sense….I hope.

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