Seven Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult

If you've decided to go back to school, good for you! Since we'd like to help, here are a few ideas that will definitely make it easier for you.
Seven Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 09 November, 2022

Are you thinking about going back to school? You may decide to do this for many different reasons, such as that you’re curious about learning something else or because you want to. The thing is, humans never stop learning.

Going back to school as an adult isn’t synonymous with failure nor is it a bad choice. Your 17-year-old self had to choose what they wanted to be for the rest of their life. Do you think your teenage you was wise enough to know what your current you would want twenty or thirty years later?

That’s why you always see people going back to school and take an interest in other fields. Some do it to change their professional lives, while others do it just for fun. No matter what motivates you, you should read some interesting ideas before you start your new life as a student.

An adult going back to school.

Too old for school?

You’re never too old for school. Remember that humans never stop learning. Nowadays, you can find more options than the ones you had when growing up. Also, you have more information about your formative options and more life experience to choose what you want to study, there are more study subjects available, and online studying can make it easier for you to go back to school.

In this regard, you can try different techniques and tips such as:

  • Be persistent and learn from trial and error.
  • Search for techniques that help you take good notes in class.
  • Guidelines to help you stay consistent, especially for distance learning.
  • Memorization techniques and active reading during your studies.

When you’ve gone many years without studying, it’s not always easy to just go back to that, as you’ve probably lost the hang of it. On the other hand, when it reaches a certain age, your brain doesn’t have the same learning ability it once had during childhood and adolescence.

A senior citizen who decided to go back to school.

Seven tips for going back to school as an adult

Continued education is essential in any professional career. You don’t always have to enroll in a higher education course. Any training course can help you improve your skills. It’s all about updating your abilities, a sort of professional recycling.

Be it as it may, for professional reasons, for pleasure, or just because you want to learn something else and be more knowledgeable, some important tips will make this process easier for you.


With age comes independence but also the responsibility of trusting yourself. Going back to school can be a challenge for many. Thus, some people may need to believe in their abilities. However, remember that you shouldn’t let your self-confidence turn into arrogance.

Check your prejudice at the door

It’s important to forget about prejudices as much as you can. Every day, you’ll see people of all ages in class. Try to talk to people about this, because some still consider that studying as an older adult is negative.

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

-Steve Jobs-


Motivation and believing in what you can do is essential. If you decide to go back to school, make the best out of that experience, knowing that you’ve made the right decision.


Usually, going back to school as an adult means that you need to carefully plan your life. For example, now you’ll have family and work duties you probably didn’t have before. That’s why you need to organize your time realistically and know your limits.

Study habits

Little by little, you can get back into the habit of studying. Go slowly, overcoming small challenges until studying becomes part of your routine again.

An old man hugging a younger woman.


You need to make the right choice when it comes to deciding what to study. Think about what you need and want to do with your education. Do you want professional development? Would you like a new challenge in your life? Or do you just want to study something new?

How you answer these questions will help you understand what you want and make the right choice. Don’t try to dwell too much on making a decision, as too many options can work against you and affect your motivation.

Find support

Lean on your family and friends. This is because there might be times when you feel like you can’t handle things and their support will be a godsend.

Just go for it! Don’t let anybody tell you you’re too old for school!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • C. Franco, Isabel, (2017). Volver a estudiar en la edad adulta: técnicas y consejos, España: Amazon.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.