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Ten Tips for College Bound Adult Learners

  1. Make the decision to actively pursue higher education
    Seek out ABLE teachers to assist you with locating colleges, their application deadlines, financial aid personnel, and a college advisor.
  2. Create a support team
    It's a nice idea to have people who believe in your dream of higher education. Family is always an excellent choice, but if you don't have a close family support system, you will have to be your own strongest proponent for your academic success. If you look, you will find people within your ABLE group to be on your support team.
    KEY POINT: Always be willing to pull yourself along the road to academic success; you must believe in yourself even if no one else will.
  3. Get organized
    Purchase a good date book and also a large home calendar so you don't miss important deadlines and/or family medical and school appointments. Choose either the first thing in the am or the last thing in the pm to check your schedule and calendar. Have a separate folder and tablet for each class. Keep it neat and tidy.
  4. Create a space for learning
    Look around your home for a space for your learning to take place separate from the rest of the family. It doesn't have to be fancy - just functional! Stock with all of your supplies: pens, markers, highlighters, stapler and staples, paper clips, rewritable CDs, computer and shelf for books.
  5. Designate the best time for you to study and write
    Life happens all the time and it might not be possible for you to study at the same time each day, but try as much as you can to keep the same schedule. The most preferable time is when you have the most undisturbed time, and also when you are the least tired.
  6. Take care of your health
    Stock your home with the necessary medical supplies to combat colds, flu, stomach ailments, and such before an event happens. The better planning you do, the less time will be spent running back and forth to the store whenever someone needs medicine. Get as much sleep as you can, drink plenty of fluids, eat fruits and veggies, you've heard it all before.
  7. Have back-up for family emergencies
    Arrange for a friend or family member to be on call in case your child needs help at school before you can get to him or her, or you have an important exam to take. Have their name and contact information on file at your child's school. Have a copy of your school schedule in plain view at your home for sitters and family.
  8. Plan healthy meals & snacks to take with you to school You will not do your best if you aren't adequately fueled. Snacks and drinks at college are very expensive.
  9. Get connected
    Locate and join an in-school support group for adult learners (non-traditional students). Groups provide a wealth of invaluable information regarding computer training, tutors, workshops, and test taking tips. In addition, a support group allows you to share common interests and do some troubleshooting.
  10. Be discouraged... but don't give up
    Realistically, you can expect to be discouraged at some point in your journey towards academic success, this is normal. But, in order to achieve, you must not give up. For every problem you encounter, there is always someone who either knows the answer or is able to direct you to someone who does know. Look for support in all things and you will find it. Most people will be proud of your pursuit and will be willing to assist you; those who are not...don't matter.

Good luck!

Marianne Thomas-Jackson, MFA
GED Scholar

Kent State University

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