A job well done on making the decision to return to school and attain your degree! Mature age students, also known as adult learners go to school part time because of family and career obligations. Mature age students are generally very passionate about what they are studying and that passion brings a wealth of life experience to the learning environment and that benefits the whole class. They have sound time management and communication skills and they aim to be high achievers and that adds to their level success as a student.

Economic, demographic, and market trends have reshaped the landscape of higher education, particularly for adults. However, the important thing to remember is that learning at higher education is as much about taking control of your learning as it is about attaining your qualification or credentials.

Research resources show that mature-aged students face particular issues in making a successful transition to University. These may be significant other commitments for example family, employment, mortgage etc). If you have been out of school the first semester can be a challenge. Some of the concerns you may have may include: Why do my classmates seem so young; How will they view me? How will I balance study with all my other demands? How will my partner and/or kids cope with me returning to school? I have test anxiety - how should I study? How do I work the computer? Will I be able to afford school? Will I get a raise or promotion after I graduate, or a new job?

Some approaches you can take to get you comfortable in the learning environment are first of all clarifying what is expected of you as a student, connecting with all sources of support that you have access to. Getting to meet other students will create a support network for you must also focus on applying effective time management skills. A big part of being a college student is keeping contact with their professors. Generally, universities will assign you an academic advisor, so be sure to keep in touch with them. Most professors are empathetic of adult learners and are aware of their multiple obligations, but also expect them to be motivated and self driven. Also, manage yourself. I.e. be as organized as you can and set up a calendar and to-do list. While not all learners are the same, there are some basic, consistent styles of learning. Once you've identified your style, you can then begin to adjust your study habits to suit your needs.

Keep in mind that time is a valuable resource. Put your school-skills to work. You will be spending a considerable amount of time reading, therefore read up on effective study and research strategies. Take advantage of resources on the Internet. Finally, do not lose yourself in your books! Take some time off at regular intervals. Give yourself at least one day off each week or a few hours a day. Spend time with your family and friends, talk a walk in the park, curl up with a good book or watch an old movie. You will manage any stress, and you’ll be a happier person and do better in school!

Author's Bio: 

Sophia Peters is the author of About e-Learning, and Colleges and Careers resources for campus and online education, distance learning, and e-learning.