Is now the time for you to attend college? For many people, timing and circumstances play a huge role in whether or not they pursue a college education or certificate program right out of high school.
Just because you were not able to attend college at the “traditional” time in life does not mean that it cannot happen for you later. With the added maturity you now have, it is likely to be even more enjoyable and productive.
Many chronologically enhanced adults, as I prefer to call those with advanced maturity, do not have lifestyles that allow them to pursue a college education on campus.
If your current life situation makes attending college courses on campus difficult, at best, then check out this article. https://onlinecollegelife.info/how-to-manage-your-online-college-schedules/
Online College Courses are a great way to get either a certificate or a degree. You can complete work started years ago or start from the beginning. Most of the articles on this site will be about how to do just that.
A different kind of article today
However, today, I want to share a very inspiring story with you. We all need a little encouragement now and then, and I plan to be the cheerleader for those of you who need it.
You can expect to hear an occasional true story about someone who has successfully made the jump to being a college student in a non-traditional way.
I may very well throw in a few tips on how to make it easier to do with each article. So, if you do not need to be encouraged (but who does not?), you will still find value in those articles as well.
I only reconnected with a childhood friend via a high school reunion last year. Although we had known each other since elementary school, we were not tight in high school.
I had no idea about her situation at home at that time. I went off to college at 17 and did not look back. She is a remarkable woman, and I regret not having known her better and sooner. But, as they say, “Better late than never,” right?
To quote a friend whose time has come to return to college
Anyway, she recently posted her plans to return to college on FaceBook. With her gracious permission, I am sharing her comment with you here.
“Years ago, going to college wasn’t feasible for everyone. It wasn’t even an option that I further my education. We didn’t have the money, I didn’t like school, and I needed to go to work to help my widowed mom with bills.
I graduated high school on June 2, went to work on June 3, and met Bob Ward the following October. We married the following March, and we began our family two years later.
I’ve gone to college taking a few classes here and there, but the timing was never right for me to continue. We were busy with kids, ministry, missions, life. I’ve had extensive training in Biblical counseling and have several certifications, but I’m not licensed.
Do I need that to help people? No! But, I’ve always had a longing to finish school and perhaps be a licensed counselor. My short-term goal is to get through this next semester. My long-term is to become licensed.
I tell my grown kids that we can put pretty streamers on my walker when I cross that stage to get my diploma!! Today this happened. I went to Orientation and classes for me to start the 27th.
It will take good time management to do this and still serve through my church, but it’s something I’m excited about doing. As the age-old saying goes, “better late than never.” By the way, because of the Reconnect Program, I was surrounded by adults of all ages going back to school!”
Yvonne Heiskell Ward
Congratulations, Yvonne! It takes courage, determination, and desire to tackle new and challenging environments. I wish you the best in your endeavor and thank you for allowing us to share your inspiring story. Hopefully, it will encourage others to make their education dreams come true as well.
Here are a few helpful tips
- Define your long term goal. It will soon need to be divided into short term goals as well.
- Take time to write down WHY this is important to you. Understanding the motivation behind your goal may very well help keep you going on the days you are a bit discouraged.
- Enlist family and friends who will provide needed support, emotional or otherwise, to make your college experience more enjoyable and productive.
- Identify your career goals and choose the path that can get you there, whether certificate or degree, etc.
- Search for schools that offer the path you wish to follow.
- Talk to an advisor at the college of your choice who can help you navigate the process of application and enrollment. Each college has a website that gives contact information and describes its support system. ASK FOR HELP.
- Choose a school. Whether you choose to attend on-campus or online, some colleges will meet your needs.
- Devise a plan to pay for your education. Depending on your age, circumstances, and choice of school, there may be financial aid available for you. Some courses can be taken free or discounted. There are also scholarship opportunities you may not have considered, as well. Talk with Financial Aid Officer at your chosen school.
- Apply! Application is usually made online these days for both online and on-campus colleges.
Other resources are available to you
Depending on where you live or plan to attend college, there are many resources available to you. If you live in the state of Tennessee, you may wish to check out: https://www.tnreconnect.gov They have navigators to help guide you through the entire process, including a cost calculator.
Many states have similar Reconnect Programs, and they are certainly worth checking out. Each state has programs specific to them, and there are Federal programs as well. Taking time to do an online search for information that can save you time, energy, and money is well worth your effort…..like all good things.
Is now the time for you to attend college? Remember, the longest journey begins with one single step.