Are you thinking of going back to school to further your education and gain new skills? We look at the questions you need to ask yourself before you make that decision.
It’s about the time
Will you have the time? Returning to school will fill your days, especially if you want to study full time. It’s not just about the hours you will spend in the classroom and attending lectures and demonstrations, it’s also about the time you will need to read course books, do research, and write assignments. Think about how much time you can give to your studies. If you have other commitments, you might want to consider taking a part-time course or attending an evening class.
Also ask yourself will I have time to myself for study? When you’re working on essays or reading textbooks, you will need peace and quiet. Can you say where and when you will be able to do this without interruption? If you live in a busy household, it might be difficult. You could plan for a few hours at the local library or ask a friend if you can study together at her house.
Consider the cost
Can you afford it? Returning to school often costs a lot of money. You might be able to get a free space or a scholarship so check out any financial assistance you can get before signing up. Ask to see book lists as the purchase of books can be expensive. The school you will attend might have a library or lending program but if not, you may want to look for secondhand retailers to save yourself a fortune on books. Find out what else you will need.
Some practical courses like hairdressing or beauty will require you to purchase your own supplies, equipment, and clothing. Make sure you can afford the costs, use online guides to managing your money, or find out where you can get a student loan.
Course of study
Are you sure of your subject choice? Many students have an idea about what they want to study but when they start they realize it was nothing like they had expected. Look at course materials and textbooks before you make your decision. Check that you will be interested in the subject over several months of classes. If you can talk to other students who have graduated or are now in jobs that you hope to get after your course has finished, you will find out more about where your course of study will take you.
Can I commit to this? Some courses will take years to complete. Can you see yourself studying in one year’s or three years’ time? If you truly want to achieve your education goal, ask yourself if you can do this over the long term. If you don’t feel ready just yet, take a refresher or short course to give you a taste of what it feels like to be studying again before you make your final decision.
Ask yourself questions about time, commitment, costs, and your subject choice, and you will be ready to make that decision about going back to school, your education, and your future.
Source: Flickr – English106