5 Helpful Tips to Succeed as An Adult Learner


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Returning to school after an extended hiatus from education requires a persistent and determined attitude. One must balance the usual academic challenges, including effective communication with professors, comprehending course demands, meeting deadlines, and forging relationships with fellow students, along with the additional obstacles that an already busy adult life presents. These may include spending less time with family members, sacrificing leisure activities, or experiencing sleep deprivation due to an increased workload.

However, diligent efforts during this time can lead to a more prosperous future. One can increase their earning potential, pursue a career that aligns with their passions, and ultimately have greater control over their life trajectory. It is important to note that amidst the stress and demands of academic life, the end goals may not always be visible. So, the following college survival tips can assist in remaining focused on objectives, mitigating stress levels, and shortening the duration of one’s academic pursuits.

  • Make the most of the opportunities available

As an adult learner, you have a unique advantage over traditional students. You have already gained valuable life experiences, developed critical thinking skills, and acquired a better sense of what you want to achieve. You can unlock your full potential and attain your goals by maximizing available opportunities.

Adult learners can benefit greatly from the widespread availability of online learning platforms, making it considerably easier to access high-quality educational resources. 

For instance, online education programs offer a convenient and flexible option for those considering pursuing a career in education. Adult learners can earn degrees, certificates, or credentials through accredited online programs without disrupting work or personal obligations. It enables them to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in education while maintaining their current lifestyles.

Online education programs often provide access to diverse courses and specializations, allowing learners to tailor their education to complement their interests and career aspirations. Additionally, the virtual classroom environment allows for increased interaction and collaboration with peers and instructors worldwide, creating a global learning community.

  • Get organized

The significance of organization skills cannot be overstated, particularly for adult learners who face additional deadlines while juggling work, family, and academic commitments. Effectively managing one’s schedule is crucial, with dedicated time set aside for academic pursuits and strict adherence to deadlines to avoid late penalties.

To optimize academic performance, prioritize assignments based on the point values and commence working on important papers or projects as early as possible. Rushing through assignments at the eleventh hour is not advisable as it compromises the quality of the work and may be discerned by instructors. Pursuing a degree requires a substantial investment of time and money. Therefore, one must organize one’s schedule to ensure maximum returns on this investment.

  • Learn how to stay on top of course requirements and deadlines

Most importantly, to achieve academic success, pay close attention to the instructions provided by one’s professors. It entails thoroughly reviewing and committing to memory the syllabus, which provides a comprehensive overview of the course’s requirements and expectations. Being familiar with deadlines for assignments, presentations, and exams is crucial, as it facilitates the timely completion of tasks and mitigates the likelihood of last-minute rushes.

While it may seem apparent, overlooking such details can harm academic performance. Each student must establish a unique organized system that is most effective through planners, reminders, or other personal methods. Regardless of the approach, it is essential to prioritize time management and remain aware of impending deadlines to prevent last-minute scrambles that could compromise the quality of one’s work.

  • Reach out to your professors

Adult learners must establish effective communication channels with their professors. Although professors are often available during office hours, adult learners may have commitments that prevent them from attending these sessions. In such cases, learners should consider scheduling appointments or emailing professors with their concerns or queries. This approach can facilitate a better understanding of the course material and requirements, potentially enhancing their academic performance.

Effective communication with professors is essential for adult learners, as it helps establish a positive learning environment and can lead to valuable networking opportunities. Professors are knowledgeable in their respective fields and can provide learners with insights into the industry, potential career paths, and opportunities for further study. By establishing a rapport with professors, adult learners may also gain access to research opportunities or potential internships, which can significantly enhance their academic experience and career prospects.

  • Form study groups

Forming study groups with peers who share similar academic interests can be a highly effective way for adult learners to supplement their learning and better understand the course material. Study groups offer numerous benefits, including peer-to-peer collaboration and brainstorming, receiving constructive feedback, and acquiring new perspectives on course material. Additionally, study groups can help foster a sense of community and social support, which can be invaluable during the challenging and demanding times of higher education.

Adult learners can begin forming a study group by contacting their classmates and identifying individuals who share their academic interests and goals. Once a group has been established, members can coordinate regular meeting times, either in-person or virtually, to review course material, discuss challenging concepts, and prepare for upcoming assignments and exams. Members can also share study materials, notes, and resources and help hold each other accountable for staying on track and meeting deadlines.

Overall, study groups can be a valuable tool for adult learners seeking to optimize their academic performance and gain a deeper understanding of course material. By collaborating with peers and engaging in active learning, adult learners can enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, build meaningful relationships with others in their field, and ultimately achieve their academic and career goals.


Returning to school as an adult learner presents unique challenges that require a persistent and determined attitude. However, with the right mindset and strategies, adult learners can make the most out of their educational pursuits and achieve their goals. Learners can excel academically by utilizing online learning platforms, getting organized, and staying on top of course requirements and deadlines. Likewise, by reaching out to professors and forming study groups, adult learners can optimize their academic performance, acquire valuable skills and knowledge, and potentially shorten the duration of their academic pursuits.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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Patty Black
Patty Black
1 year ago

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Toby Bradford
Toby Bradford
9 months ago

For example, I always download lessons or podcasts from YouTube to listen to at night or when I go to work to spend time usefully and learn something new.

Emory Scott
Emory Scott
9 months ago

Oh, I do the same as you, it’s cool to find a like-minded person. I download Spanish learning podcasts and listen to them all the time.

Sam Jonson
Sam Jonson
9 months ago

I agree with your opinion. I also often download lessons from YouTube and listen in the car or on the phone when I have free time. By the way, I download audio from YouTube thanks to YouTube to MP3 Converter. As far as I know it is the most popular resource on Runet with a simple and friendly interface. So you will definitely understand how to download the necessary file.

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9 months ago
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