The change from full time employment to full time education can be a daunting experience.
I must admit, I was a little nervous being 26 around fresh faced 21 year old peers, worrying that you may need more time to catch up and get into that academic rigmarole.
But here’s a couple of things I used to get me through:
Use the 9-5 mindset
Your experience is an advantage, so use it! It gives you a different mindset and in my case, enabled an approach which was hugely different to my undergraduate days. I found it easier to stick to a ‘9-5ish’ routine where if you’re not in lectures, you can hit one of the many libraries at our disposal to crack out tutorials and coursework. When it comes to ‘overtime’ to get the job done, you know how plan and prioritize work over socializing. Now I’m not saying be a hermit but remember, you’re back at university for a reason, so your mates will understand missing the odd pint or 2.
Talk to your course mates
We’re not all going to understand every aspect of the course, but one thing that has helped me is communication between my peers. I’ve been asked to help and/or explain a particular topic, making me feel more confident in that subject as well as reinforcing the knowledge into memory. And in reverse, where I’ve been confused with a particular aspect during revision, there was real reprieve in being able to confidently ask a peer for explanation without the fear of looking foolish.
Try out the societies
Most students, like myself, returning from industry will have private accommodation i.e. living with parents or partners. The opportunity to meet people outside your course becomes a little bit harder and so I figured I’d join a couple of societies and see what’s good. There is always the added bonus of it looking good on your CV, showing you to be a well-rounded person but, on a personal note, its great enjoying some down time with people who are there for the same reason.