Several factors affect one’s decision to return to education after a long period away from studying and “school”. Moreover, since it is not the traditional route of furthering one’s studies straight after compulsory schooling, some challenges are faced by those who make this important decision at a later stage in life.


Possible reasons to return to learning:

  • Want or need a career change
  • Want to improve your job prospects
  • Want to update your job related skills
  • Want to keep on learning


What are some of the challenges one encounters and how can these be tackled?

  • Compulsory schooling was negative

If you had a discouraging experience during formal education, most probably you do not feel very excited about going back to education. However, the good news is that, as an adult learner, you have the choice to decide which educational options are suitable for you and your lifestyle. Furthermore, when possible, you can choose what to study and how demanding the course of studies is.


  • You can’t afford the expense

Financial implications are serious and not to be underestimated. However, there are different possibilities for financial support to those wanting to further their education, especially at higher levels. Moreover, there are various courses being offered at various price ranges or with monthly instalments, which can suit your financial needs.


  • You feel you lack the study skills

Since studying is something you perhaps did some (or many!) years ago, returning to education may be daunting. Studying itself needs planning and by taking the time to think about what learning styles and techniques best suit you, may help you obtain better results. Be ready to change the stereotypical ways of learning and studying and adapt according to what is suitable for you.


  • You lack the time, motivation and energy

Returning to education means that you have to juggle between several major responsibilities in your life such as family, friends, work, and the need for personal quality time. Therefore, it is easy to fall into the trap of feeling helpless and unprepared. However, if you put yourself in the right frame of mind, work on a schedule and prioritize, it is possible. Always keep in mind that you are doing it to ameliorate your life.


In conclusion, it is encouraged not to get disheartened or give up. Take it one step at a time, in order not to be overwhelmed. It is essential to have the confidence in yourself and to ask for your help when you need it.



Ann Julene Hili is a Career Guidance Practitioner with Willingness. She specializes in working with teens and young adults who are in their educational and career transitions. She can be contacted on or call us on 79291817.