'Perhaps it is also time to consider how you, as an adult, might return to school. Everyone knows that both your knowledge base and your income can greatly increase when you earn a diploma or degree, but not everyone thinks that they will be able to set or reach academic goals. They focus on all the reasons why they can't begin instead of just beginning.
- I'm too old - Age is a state of mind and it is true that you are "only as old as you feel". People live longer and because of this, their years in the workplace have increased. Many do not retire as young as they might have in the past. Even if you only have a few years until retirement, you can easily recoup your financial investment. You will also feel more confident with the skills you have learned. It is common for seniors to take university classes. In fact, most academic institutions actually do not charge registration fees for anyone over the age of 65 years. You are never too old to set and reach for new goals.
- I'm too poor - How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! You don't have to study full-time. Take baby steps. Begin with one night or distance education course. It took me thirteen years to complete my first degree because I had to work and could only study at night and on weekends. Research how you can apply for a student loan. Perhaps you will qualify for scholarships or grants. Change your perspective by thinking about the costs as an investment that will pay back in dividends rather than as an expense. Put things in perspective. Setting up an RRSP that is tied to the stock market is a bigger risk than investing in your own education.
- I'm not smart enough- If you can read, you can learn almost anything! Courses are designed to take a person from a state of ignorance about the subject to a state of mastery. You don't have to earn perfect scores - you just need to get a passing grade. If you are willing to put some focussed effort into your studies, you will succeed. And if you are "stuck", don't worry. There is always a teacher, friend or peer who is willing to help you.
- I'm too busy - If you were told that you had just won a trip to Hawaii but had to take it before the end of the month would you find the time? Probably. You see, we tend to do things we really want to do and otherwise claim that we are "too busy". Don't worry about abandoning your family. They are likely more capable than you know and maybe you are just kidding yourself about how much they "need" you. Even young children can help with laundry and lunches (they know how to run iPhones which are much more complicated than a washing machine or microwave). Keep track of the time that you are watching television or talking to Facebook friends for the next couple of weeks. You could probably find an hour or so each day to do assignments or study instead if you look carefully at the activities that are stealing your time.
- I'm too afraid - Most people are afraid of the unknown and of failure. Think of how your child was on their first day of kindergarten. You used your best skills to bring calm and confidence into the situation. Tell yourself the same convincing messages. You will soon find that what was a very scary idea can turn into a positive and rewarding experience.
- I'm too lazy- I don't believe that people are lazy - they are usually just unmotivated. When individuals refuse to do something, it is usually because they don't see the benefits or rewards, they will receive. Sometimes they feel that if they ignore doing things, someone else will do them on their behalf. Well, education is one of the few things in life that no one can do for you. You have to do it for yourself. Figure out what it is that you want and let that idea motivate you. Do you want a new challenge, a different career, a better income, more confidence, specific skills or to be a role-model for others?
We live in a wonderful world where education is available and offered in many different formats. You are exactly the right age and have the necessary ability, intelligence, time and confidence to do well if you choose to do so. You just need to figure out a good reason to begin and then focus on that rather than on all the reasons why you can't do it.
If you need help to make a plan and overcome the things that stop you or hold you back, set up an appointment with a psychologist today. You'll be glad you did!