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Back to School: Common Misconceptions for Adult Learners

Many adult learners think that the goals that they’ve desired to attain for a while now seem nearly impossible to achieve since the moment has passed to put them into action. And besides, schools are only built for children, right? That’s not always the case.

Returning to school knows no age restriction, much more so in the digital era, when innovation is constantly advancing and making virtual education more accessible than ever. So before you ultimately convince yourself that you’re too old to finish high school, pursue that bachelor’s degree, or get your Ph.D., consider the following facts why you should not believe the misconceptions about your situation.

Misconception #1: Learning becomes much more difficult beyond the age of 25

As a child, your brain is developing, and there is plenty of room for learning and absorbing new knowledge. It expands to accommodate as much information as possible until you reach the age of 25. By then, your brain would have learned a lot and have reached its limit. After that, learning would feel more like labor than a fountain of knowledge, so several individuals are inclined to give up.

The fact is that, though you may not acquire new skills as quickly as before, you can very well train your brain to establish new learning habits that would fit your unique and current pace.

The ability to think critically does not diminish with age; instead, it is necessary to put more effort into ensuring that the material you are learning is retained. Even more, much as exercising regularly over time becomes more manageable as your body becomes accustomed, regular mental training can help your brain get reacquainted and improve, too. On the other hand, returning to school can allow you to increase your ability to learn more quickly over time.

Misconception #2: The majority of persons who return to school are in their early 20s

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Schools belong to a specific age group. If you return in your late 20s or older, you will only be the laughing stock. The odd one out. You’re not going to have much in common with your peers, and, even worse, you might even stand out so much you’ll be the talk of the campus — and not in a good way.

The fact is that many individuals return and even finish school in their twilight years for a good number of reasons.

According to a 2020 National Center for Education Statistics, around 7.5 million students aged 25 and over have enrolled in a two- and four-year college course which entails that adult education has become even more prevalent. Moreover, for health concerns, work, and children, virtual education is also a convenient alternative for those who want to return to school.

Misconception #3: Once you’ve secured employment, you’re not required to return to school anymore

It is essential to graduate from college and find work in the subject you studied, isn’t it? When you finish school and start your profession, you don’t need to return to college unless you wish to alter your career altogether. Even then, admitting that you have made the incorrect decision and traveled the wrong path, returning to school as a grownup to correct it almost seems like a failure.

The fact is that pursuing training, advancing your education, and improving life and career skills are critical for any job advancement.

Regardless of your age, you must expand your training if you are interested in working or retaining your understanding of the sector you are in. This applies to individuals involved in areas where new technologies and procedures are continuously updated and modified. Many occupations, such as a respiratory therapist or medical practitioner, actually need you to obtain a specific quantity of professional development training and units such as CNA training programs to enhance your knowledge and skills and maintain your certification or license.

Educating and improving yourself is still a wise decision for professions that don’t need frequent new courses and training. Along with developing new abilities, putting the effort to further your learning in your industry demonstrates to your employers that you are dedicated to your job and are ready to put in the necessary action to advance your career.

It is never too late for anyone to learn new skills and re-learn things no matter what stage in life you are in right now. People go back to school to better their profession, attend courses because they value learning, and open new possibilities. Remember that age is just a number, and you shouldn’t let that limit you from becoming the best person you can be.

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