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How To Be Successful When You Return To School

i am just finishing my first yer back to college, and I will finishing strong. I was out of school for three years due to some crazy life events. However, last year I decided it was time to go back. I enrolled for the fall semester as a Computer Science major(I was previously in school for Materials Science and Engineering) and I have been going strong every since. There were a few hiccups in the beginning, but now I feel like real student, again. If you are considering going back to school, here are some tips to get you started and keep you going.

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Make School Your Priority

This is particularly hard if you have children or a relationship. I'm single and childless so I didn't really have any priorities other than work. However, if school is something you really want to excel in, you have to be able to commit enough time to studying and your coursework. Working to find a balance and having a plan ahead of time is vital in order to succeed.

Work Enough, But Not Too Much

My biggest problem was working about 60 hours a week. Did I have to? No. Did I want to? Not really. I have always been so accustomed to making the most out of my time that I didn't recognize school as a full time job. However, after some not so great test scores I quickly reevaluated my work schedule. I still had some trouble picking up second(and third) jobs but I finally cut my hours down to be able to pay bills and put some money away for savings.

Get All the Free Monies!!!

Scholarships, Grants, Tuition Assistance... Make sure you complete your FAFSA and talk to your financial aid office. Even if you don't qualify for tuition assistance through FAFSA, there may still be scholarships available to you.

The more assistance you get, the less you have to work, and the more time you have to study!

Find a Tutor

I am not good at math. I like to pretend that I am good at math. I'm good at science. I am not good at math...

Knowing this, I know the math tutoring schedule at my school. It's better to get help before you need it.

***Remember: The better your grades, the more scholarships you can get, AND better jobs in the futuuuuuuure!!!

Find Some Buddies

When I went back to school I felt like the mom. Granted, I was only 23, but being in class with a bunch of 19 year old's made me feel like I had to give everyone life advice. However, I soon began to meet more people my own age or maturity level, so I didn't feel so out of place.

Another cool thing is meeting other people with similar life goals and interests. Finding friends can help you feel more like a student. You'll also have people in your life who can relate to what you're going through.

Keep Going!!!

Just going back is such a huge accomplishment. Remember that this isn't going to last forever, but it will forever change your life!

I believe in you!!!

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