How to Prepare to Go Back to College in Your 20s 30s or 40s!

How to Prepare Go Back to College…as a Young Adult!

According to a post from, over 50% of people are unhappy with their current employment. Therefore, some individuals choose to do something about it so they find themselves needing to know how to go back to college 10, 20 or even 30 years later. This number is very startling as some people just settle and choose to stick it out.  Whether you are looking for a mid-life career change or want to be on the fast track to management, there are many things an adult who is going back to school must consider. Many things have changed in the 5, 10, 15+ years that most adults have been out of school. However, you shouldn’t worry. With organization, preparation, and a “can do” attitude, you can return to college at any age and be a successful student.

how to go back to college in your 20s 30s or 40s

Here are our top 5 ways to prepare for college as an adult:

  1. Be organized. Life is often busy enough between the home, your family, and work. It becomes more crazy when you add school to the mix. If you aren’t organized, it will be impossible to get everything you need to accomplish finished. You need to develop a solid and effective routine, and you need to make class/study time a priority.
  2. Learn how to study with distractions. It won’t always be possible to get alone time when you need to study. Get used to studying with noisy distractions around you. If you have children, encourage them to do their homework at the same time you pull out your own books. Do what you need too, but do not make excuses for not doing your own homework. Remember that your children learn by your own example.
  3. Ask for help. If there is a particular area where you are struggling to keep up, whether it is academic or at home, ask for help. Your family can assist with running errands and doing chores. Fellow students can be an excellent resource for class notes or homework help. If you have questions or do not understand the course material, talk to your professor. In these situations, tutoring might be advantageous, and this is offered by on campus student learning centers. The resources are there, but it is up to you to take advantage of them.
  4. Take placement tests early. If you have been out of school for an extended period of time, sign up to take placement tests. Your math or English skills may be rustier than you think. These simple tests will tell you how competent you are in a particular subject. If you need to brush up on your skills, taking your test early will provide you with the time to do so. As an added bonus, some colleges will allow you to receive early college credit for classes you test out of.
  5. If you are making a pros and cons list about going back to school, tear it up right now. There will always be reasons why you cannot fit a college education into your life right now. Rarely do adults regret going back to school to earn their degree, but they will almost always regret not doing it. If you have enough motivation to make a pros and cons list about going back to school, then you have enough motivation to make it happen.

BONUS TIP: Start saving money. College can become somewhat expensive when you began purchasing school supplies, laptop computers and more so you definitely want to start saving money as soon as possible. Here are some tips on ways to save money.

Are you preparing yourself to go back to college? If so, share some of the challenges you face in the comments below. Let’s help the Young and Finance community return to school!