I always knew it would be hard returning to college, but it was different from I imagined. One of the reasons I hesitated to go back to school was the fact it has been a long time since I have had school work. The thought of having to do homework, pay attention in class, and take time away from more entertaining activities was not something I looked forward to. After my first week, I can see it wasn’t as hard as I pictured but definitely wasn’t easy.
Since I decided to go back to college, I’ve been motivated to get through it and finish it out. So the motivation to pay attention and do the work was there. Unfortunately, I underestimated the amount of reading and the attention to detail that is required for some classes. The program I chose at Regis University has some accelerated course options. It is actually one of the reasons I chose the program. It’s great because you can take 5-week courses. Even though the course only lasts 5 weeks you still have the workload of a full semester. This means I’m having to read 3-4 chapters a week. For some that may not seem like a lot, but for someone who hasn’t read more than news articles most of their life that is a lot to read.
So after the first week returning to college, I’m feeling good about my accomplishments. I’ve learned some lessons though. I definitely need to set aside a couple of hours a day dedicated just to focus on the school work. This helps me get into a groove and can absorb more of the material. I also learned I need to do my reading earlier in the evening. If I start reading to late I find myself nodding off and falling asleep. When this happens I barely retain any of the information I read and I have to go back over it later. Being a father this is sometimes hard to accomplish because I usually wait for my daughter to go to bed before I start my school work.
Another good lesson I learned is to use something to keep track of tasks that are due and when. I figured I would just keep track of everything in my head. That just led me to keep looking up assignments and due dates. This led to some major paranoia that I was forgetting something I needed to turn in. Not a fun feeling. Luckily there are many to-list and task tracking applications out there.
I’m sure I’ll learn more lessons as the semester continues on, but I’m optimistic that I can handle anything that comes up. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that I can be successful this semester and I’ll feel good about taking 15+ hours a semester. If I can keep that pace, I will hopefully graduate by Fall of 2019. So for those thinking about returning to college, just prepare yourself and you’ll do just fine.