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Five Things Every Returning Student Should Know

This fall I resumed my studies after a six-year break. Like many of us weathering the Great Recession, I figured some “retraining” might be the best solution for hiding out in this storm.

I polled some of my good friends for their experience; they were quick to come up with these shining gems:

1. Sit at the front of the class. Education tends to travel in waves. Most of the surf will hit the front, and the tide pools of “What does he mean, take notes?” “What was the answer to #32?” and “Would you like to buy some pot?” are at the back.

2. Use Bright Colors. Face it. Your memory is not what it used to be. Get some Crayola markers, and take notes, being sure to highlight important terms.

3. Take Charge on Group Projects. Remember what your priorities when you were 18? Without a boss lady, the group grade will take severe damage.

4. Take advantage of any extra help available. Now that your Friday night date is no longer priority numero uno, (at least not for Monday and Wednesday too) use the time you would have spent on more youthful pursuits (getting drunk, goofing off) to attend study groups, seek tutoring, go over supplemental material, or even visit the professor during office hours. The difference between the grade you wanted and the grade you got is effort.

5. Have fun. Surprisingly, this item was most recommended. Get those Hello Kitty notebooks you’ve been eyeing. Take a class that sparks your interests. Make friends, and most importantly, enjoy the enrichment that education brings to your life.

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