Second-generation Latinas are enrolling in college at the same rate (46%) as their White female counterpart. This is an important achievement. Many Latinas are also pursuing advanced degrees in graduate school. And, there is a growing number of women who are going back to school to complete their education or pursue a new degree.
But many adults find the idea of going back to school stressful, especially when there is a lack of support, resources and time. Both adult men and women find it hard to get over the stress hurdle, and many either decide not to go or drop out after the first quarter.
Overcoming Stress to Further Your Education
There is a lot of value to earning your degree, but managing your stress is the first step towards making that possible. Below are several tips and strategies for women thinking about going back to college.
Plan Your Life
Going back to school is a considerable commitment, costing both time and money. It’s always a good idea to carefully plan every aspect of your life. How are you going to budget your finances? When will you be able to help out around the house? When will you make sure you have a bit of free time for your own health and wellness? Knowing these things in advance will show you that you really will be able to fit classes into your schedule and reduce uncertainty about the future.
Take a Continuing Education Course
A big part of the stress is simply not being used to the school environment. The idea of suddenly being surrounded by recent high school students and learning from the world’s leading professors (not to mention all of the studying and homework) can be quite intimidating. Find ways to become more comfortable in a college environment. Many community colleges have classes available for those not enrolled in college that simply want to continue their education. These are often labeled “Continuing Education Courses” but may have several names. They generally meet once a week for a few months, and it will simulate the classroom setting with people that are also going back to school for the first time in a long time.
Organize a Returning Education Study Group
If it has been a long time since you last set foot in a classroom, another tool to reduce the anxiety of your first quarter is to organize some type of study group for others in your position. It can be hard for people a different age than the rest of the students to become a part of student life, especially the study groups. In reality, you don’t necessarily need to be surrounded by others in your class – you simply need people available to study around. By organizing this type of support group, you improve your social support at the school, create a makeshift support group for those that are struggling to cope, and make a few friends in a way that will make the transition easier.
Controlling the Anxiety of Returning to Education
Don’t let the anxiety of returning to school prevent you from achieving your goals. The first step is realizing that stress in your situation is entirely natural. From there, you’ll be prepared to take a deep breath and figure out what you can do to control that stress, whether it’s one of the tips above or some other effective method of controlling your anxiety. There’s nothing wrong with being anxious, but it’s important that you never let those emotions stop you from being everything you want to be.