When you start a new relationship, it can often drastically affect the planned trajectory of your life. Maybe you moved, made new friends and your education or job became less of a priority - especially if you started a family. Now that you’re no longer with your spouse, you may be wondering about missed opportunities that you now want to pursue.
After a divorce, it is common to think about how to build your future. This may include finishing a degree.
Here are five tips to prepare you for going back to school as an adult.
- One class at a time. While it may be appealing to take the maximum course load and complete your degree as swiftly as possible, it’s important to pace yourself. An academic advisor can be an outstanding resource when it comes to determining your pace. They will have insight into balancing your workload along with other aspects of your life.
- Prioritize organization. There have undoubtedly been changes in technology since you were last in school, however, bring the organizational tools that you feel most familiar with. As you become better acclimated, consider new tools that may compliment your organizational style. Be wary of tablets, however, as recent research shows they aren’t as effective as people may think.
- Make a financial plan. Obviously, you need a sound financial plan before embarking on a degree. After going through your divorce, you should have a good grasp on your adjusted financial circumstances. Once you have determined that pursing a degree is attainable, talk to your financial professionals about a breakdown of tuition, fees and other associated expenses. It may be a good idea to start a spreadsheet that will help you track costs and your payment schedule.
- Treat the classroom like a workplace. Whether you are going back to school to get your dream job or you are going to cross off an item on you bucket list, a great student treats the classroom like a workplace. Connect with your instructor, be present, get to know your peers. Being professional in the classroom will benefit you in the long run.
Whether your motivation is accepting more fulfilling work or setting an example for your children, it will take some hard work to reach your goal. Setting goals can be an important step in healing after the pain of divorce. When you are able to take control over what that future looks like, it can be life-changing.