I’ve done it – taken the leap and returned to school to get my Associates (possibly Bachelors?) in nursing and making a major career change. And you know what? School is even better this time than it was when I got my first Bachelors. Here’s why:

I can have glass of wine while doing homework.

What makes reading for my Biology class even better? Having a glass of wine while doing it. It’s great to be an adult! If you need to have your nose in a book while unwinding at the end of the day, you may as well do it with your highlighter in one hand and a drink in the other. I suppose the argument could be made that this is how many traditional college students make their way through school, but that wasn’t my reality the first time around. And no, I’m not talking about the entire bottle; I’m taking my studies seriously! Cheers to being an adult learner!

Multitasking and time management are second nature.

Learning to do several things at once, and well, is a lesson that most college students need to learn right along with the rest of their course material. But as a busy working mom who is returning to school, I’m coming to class with this one already covered. Squeeze in some reading while my daughter naps? Review notes while cooking dinner? Hit the library while my husband handles the bedtime routine? No problem.

My professors are also my peers.

Perhaps what struck me most about returning to school is that the professors are not just my instructors, but my peers as well. In some cases, I’m closer in age to my teachers than my fellow students. This definitely lends itself to the feeling of a cooperative learning environment, when I see myself reflected in both my professors and classmates. It makes me feel that much more connected to the campus community. It’s a great dynamic to have!

School is even more of a choice, now more than ever.

As a young adult, college was something I very much looked forward to, and wanted for myself. Still, to an extent, college was also something that was the expected next step for graduates of the school system I grew up in. Rarely was it questioned, and mostly was assumed that everyone would choose college over anything else after graduation. This time, though, returning to school was a deliberate, conscious choice. A decision to change directions and plot a new course. A choice to invest in our family’s future – aka more debt – in order to once again become a two-income household doing something I’m passionate about. For me, school this time is also a means to focus more on myself, when so much of the rest of my day revolves around my daughter’s needs.

So far, college has exceeded my expectations as an adult learner. Let’s just hope I’m singing the same tune once finals roll around!

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