More non-traditional students are going to college than ever before. When adults go to college, they often face unique challenges that can make it difficult for them to succeed. You may have forgotten key study skills and what it’s like to work on assignments or prepare for exams. You may also feel nervous about attending a large university with students who are younger than you.
Instead of limiting your future career choices, follow these four ways non-traditional students can prepare for college.
Audit a Class to Get the College Experience
Image via Flickr by Jirka Matousek
If you’ve never taken a college course before (or even if it’s just been several years since you took one), you may want to audit a class to get a taste of the college experience. Auditing a class means you attend regularly, but you don’t have to complete assignments or take tests.
Keep in mind that you won’t get course credit when you audit a class, so you can’t count it toward your degree. Still, auditing one or two classes is a good way to decide whether college is the right option for you. You can also audit classes to decide what subject to study. You don’t want to discover after your first semester that you don’t like your major. That’s especially true considering how high today’s tuition costs.
Make Extra Money
Going to college can put a lot of stress on your family’s budget. While rates vary from school to school, students attending public universities should expect to spend over $9,000 in tuition and fees each year. That doesn’t even include living expenses, books, travel, and other costs.
You can lighten the financial strain by earning extra money to support your studies. Since your coursework will keep you busy, you need to find an option that’s both flexible and profitable. For instance, you can earn money by selling products with Amway in your free time. Since people who sell Amway products are independent contractors, you get to set your own schedule.
As an added benefit, you can use Amway products to lower your household expenses. As a seller, you save money when you buy from Amway instead of a local retailer.
Enroll in Online Courses to Prepare for College Classes
If you haven’t been to school in a while, you might not have some of the skills you need to do well in college. Math skills, for instance, can degrade when you don’t practice them regularly.
Enrolling in online courses can help you prepare for rigorous college assignments. Many massive open online courses are free, so you can take them without any risk. You won’t get credit for taking the class online, but you will gain some of the skills you need to excel in college.
Don’t assume that a free class isn’t worth your time. Many of the free courses are taught by professors at prestigious universities like Yale, Stanford, and MIT. Taking them could greatly increase your chance of success in a college course. You can take classes in practically any subject, including computer science, literature, and biology. Use them to improve your skills and decide what major fits your interests.
Tour Nearby College Campuses
Most universities have huge, sprawling campuses that new students find difficult to navigate. Signing up for a campus tour will make it easier for you to find classes and other resources like libraries and labs. Freshman orientation should offer a tour, but you can also sign up for private tours before you commit to a university.
If you haven’t already signed up for classes, ask colleges near you for campus tours. This will not only help you find your classes once school starts but also give you a chance to interact with students and professors. It’s a great way to decide what school you want to attend.
College demands a lot from students, so take steps to get yourself academically and financially prepared. Manage the costs and make sure that you get the most from your time. College education is a serious investment in yourself and your future.