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5 back-to-school tips for the mature student

Summer is just around the corner. For many adults, this time of year involves summer camps, road trips, backyard BBQ’s and lots of outdoor family time. In between the activities, summer can also be the perfect time to start thinking about your personal goals and next steps in your career.

If you’re a mature student who has decided to head back to school this September, don’t let the chaos of a busy summer shift into your fall. You can avoid the stress of back-to-school season by planning ahead with these tips to help you stay on track:

1. Choose a flexible program

Don’t compromise your work / life balance but rather, continue working while achieving a higher level of education and entering a new profession. In fact, pursuing a second career in a field like massage therapy is ideal for the adult learner requiring flexible programming to fit their life. Consider the programs at the Northern Institute of Massage Therapy (NIMT), which provide a unique combination of classroom instruction, home study assignments, distance correspondence and work experience.

2. Get organized
Managing your time effectively is key for your sanity and success! Every Sunday, create a task list for the week ahead and prioritize each item. This will help with everything from classes and homework to groceries and extra-curricular activities.

3. Get to know your classmates
Introduce yourself to other students. Getting together with others to discuss methodologies and share notes can help improve memory, boost exam results and reduce anxiety. In addition, your fellow students can give you some real world experience before you enter the job market. From being able to work in teams to managing difficult situations, to working with different personalities and schedules, learning how to handle yourself in the workplace can start in the classroom.

4. Assess your learning style
Your brain might process information differently than the last time you studied in school. Do you absorb content by reading, or are you a visual, kinaesthetic or auditory learner? Identify your learning style and don’t be afraid to ask your instructor for insight!

5. Give yourself a micro-break
Balancing work, school and a busy home life leaves little time for personal relaxation. Dedicating 10 to 20 minutes a day for a small break can do wonders for your psyche. Turn on your favourite podcast, go for a walk or sit with a coffee and just breathe.

Going back to school as a mature student can be overwhelming, but with a little reflection and planning, you’ll be reaping the rewards in no time and be well on your way to an engaging and exciting new career! For more information on becoming a massage therapist, visit NIMT and find out more about Alberta’s top massage school!