Most adult learners have more than one role. Mother, daughter, father, son, employee, and owner are just some of the roles that we may have when returning to school later in life. However, in the midst of all these roles, we must use life skills to guarantee our future success. There are many challenges for an adult learner. These difficulties are a result of the obligations we have to our current life responsibilities. Using your developed life skills, you will be able to manage your current responsibilities while succeeding in school.
For an adult learner with many hats, it is essential to develop your ability to multi-task. Whether that means studying while the children are at piano lessons or cooking tomorrow’s meal when the rest of the world is sleeping, you must learn to create time in unexpected ways. Those 45 minutes of dryer time may be just enough time to finish a section of reading for class. A successful adult learner finds it imperative to sharpen his/her multi-tasking skills. Along with multi-tasking, you must also make sure that you remain organized. Maintaining organization allows the student to manage one’s time so no aspect of one’s life is short-changed.
It should go without saying that patience is a vital component to success as an adult learner. Things have changed since the last time you may have been in a classroom. There are new technologies, new teaching methods, and even new expectations. Maybe you are discouraged because you were never an “A” student. With diligence and patience, you will be able to create the plan for your continued success. Stay disciplined, develop a dedication to your coursework. Use this patience and discipline to conquer your material.
Be organized. Being organized includes using time effectively. More importantly, being organized requires a commitment to prioritizing work, life, and school obligations. Adult learners must maintain orderliness, all the while maintaining the ability to be flexible. One thing you have learned by now is that life doesn’t always go as planned. You may not be sick, but that flu going around your child’s daycare center will definitely ruin that evening of studying that you planned. Unlike when you were 18, your life now has other people to consider. You should be open to various, equally acceptable ways to approach the countless challenges that you may encounter. There is no one uniform way to solve any situation. You can only find answers if you are willing to be ambitious and driven to explore all of your options. There should be a plan A, B, and C to allow for various situations which may naturally arise. Keep in mind… if the shoe doesn’t fit, consider using sandals or—going barefoot!
Get competitive. Treat school like a game… a sport, not a joke… Get a real assessment of your opponent, the class. Use the syllabus as your game plan and assessments to identify your weaknesses. Finally, make sure you take advantage of all the campus resources offered to you. These life skills can help lead you to victory.