5 Tips for Returning to Education After a Break

Returning to education after a break can be both an exciting and challenging experience. Whether you're coming back to pursue a degree, upgrade your skills, or explore a new field in order to change careers, returning to academic life requires careful planning and adjustment.
So, if you’re looking to take the next step in your academic journey, here are five fantastic tips to help you navigate this journey smoothly and make the most out of your return to education.

Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Before diving back into education, take some time to reflect on your objectives and expectations, and ask yourself what you hope to achieve.
Whether it's advancing in your career, switching professions, or satisfying a personal passion, clear goals will help to provide you with direction and motivation throughout your academic journey.
Break down your long-term goals into smaller, manageable milestones, and establish a realistic timeline for accomplishing them. By having a clear roadmap, you’ll be able to remain focused and driven in the face of new challenges.

Choose the Right Programme and Education Format

With so many educational options available today, it’s important that you take the time to decide on the right programme that fits with your goals and current academic level.
If you're balancing work or family commitments, then you might find that opting for a flexible online course, such as the online PhDs that are offered by SMC Education, might be the ideal choice.
Additionally, you should factor in aspects such as course duration and how it can contribute to career advancement, particularly if your motivations for furthering your learning are professional.

Improve Your Study Skills and Time Management

Returning to education often requires getting back to grips with study habits and time management techniques. If it's been a while since the last stage of your educational journey, consider refreshing your study skills, such as note-taking, research, and critical thinking.
One of the most important skills that you can master is effective time management; it’s crucial for juggling multiple responsibilities. If you’re struggling with time management, consider utilising apps such as Todoist to keep track of your tasks and ensure that they’re completed on time.

Build Your Support Systems and Network

Returning to education can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be a solo experience. Take the time to cultivate a strong support network of family, friends, classmates and mentors who can offer encouragement, guidance, and assistance when needed.
Join study groups, online forums, or professional associations related to your field of study to exchange knowledge and experiences with others.
And if you’re using your return to education to advance your career, it’s never too early to use platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with others in your industry.

Prioritise Self-Care and Your Wellbeing

Balancing the demands of education with other responsibilities can be overwhelming at times, so it's essential to prioritise your self-care, wellbeing, and ensure that you have. A healthy work-life balance.
Take breaks, and establish boundaries between your academic and personal life to prevent burnout and maintain perspective, as this can make you more productive in the long run.
Have you returned to education after a break? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!