Going Back to School: Common Fears for Adult Students

School is for the kids, right? Not so, and while you may have thought your education days were behind you, there may be a good reason for getting back into the routine of studying and homework. Perhaps you want to work your way up the career ladder, so a new qualification may give you the step-up you need. On the other hand, you may be looking to move into a new career, so you will have to retrain.

Photo by Maxpixel

Alternatively, you may be a stay-at-home mom, and looking to spice up your life with something new, as well as extending your social circle. Whatever the reason, one thing is true for most people returning to school. Worry! If this is true for you, don’t panic! We are going to look at some of the common fears and help you overcome them.

Fear #1: The issue of money

Going back to school may be useful, but what if you can’t afford it? Not only do you have to pay for the course of study, but then there’s the reading list to consider, as well as travel costs, etc. Thankfully, there is help available. A common misconception is that scholarships are only for the teenagers, but you have the right to apply too, no matter your age. This includes Federal Student Aid, though the college you are applying too may have their own methods of financial aid for adult students too. Check out their website for more information.

Fear #2: Balancing your time

Not only will you have to study, but you may also have to hold down a job, as well as juggling family responsibilities. It’s tough, and you will need to manage your timetable. Still, it is possible. With regards to work commitments, read the advice we gave you here. Then, when it comes to your family, be honest with your loved ones, and explain the stresses you will be going through. As long as they understand you will need space occasionally, you may get on okay. Of course, you don’t need to study full-time or physically go to school. This online MBA program is just one of the many courses available to you, with a flexible approach to learning that can be tailored around your other commitments.

Fear #3: Managing the workload

This is common for any student, no matter how old they are. From writing essays to studying for exams, there will be a lot on your plate to contend with. However, you aren’t alone! You can work with other study groups, whether you are studying online or at a local college. Being in the same position as you, there will be any number of adults willing to work alongside you in mutual support. You should also chat to your tutor if you find yourself struggling. They should be only too happy to help, and with years of experience, they will be able to give you a few helpful pointers. Finally, remember to relax. While you will be tempted to cram in extra study hours, you still need your sleep and leisure time. You will be able to manage the workload better if your mind and body aren’t riddled with exhaustion, so give yourself a break once in a while.


Despite your fears, going back to school is totally worth it. We hope we have allayed some of your worries, but seek support from the people around you. From family to friends, talk about how you are feeling, and benefit from this support network as you pursue your educational endeavors.




Photo of author


I'm Crystal. I'm married to Dale, and mother to Johnny.Some might say that my life is perfect because I get to do all the cliché wife things like cooking, cleaning, and decorating - but there's more! I also have many hobbies including needlework (crochet), sewing, and reading. My son's education is important, so we homeschool him together.

Leave a Comment