7 Steps for dealing with the fork in the road

Jul 6, 2011 by

7 Steps for dealing with the fork in the road

Dream achievement, that’s what I do. Make what you want to happen — happen.

My clients are people who want to make positive change in their lives. Or, they are organizations that want to see progressive movement for their employees, their potential, and the growth of the organization.

Those changes come with broadened perspective, knowledge and vision. Sometimes, but not always, shift and expansion occurs  with a return to a formal or informal classroom to expand one’s education or to completely shift the path of knowledge through alternative coursework. This can mean getting a degree, adding a degree or taking classes in a non-traditional setting for a shift, change or expansion of your knowledge and skill base.

But honestly, people often feel uncomfortable or intimidated to return to school, formal or alternative, as an adult. If this describes you, let me ask you to release your discomfort.

You see you can never be too old to open your life to new learning, unique opportunities or going back to school.

In the current world, college students of any and all ages sit in lecture halls, relax in front of their computer in distance or alternative learning classes, sit in campus libraries, work through assignments in labs and involve themselves in experiential internships.

However, there are some quick and easy steps to making this new life-enhancing path smooth and filled with excitement and fun.

1) Embrace the truth.
There are no longer any “traditional” students. What I mean is, students of all ages are now taking advantage of educating themselves as never before. Let go of any notion that college students are all between 17 and 24.  The college demographic has exploded in the last decade.  You will find people just like you on any campus. Education is a door of opportunity for the development of your self-concept and your knowledge whether personal or professional.

2) Define your goal.
What are you looking for? What do you want your life to be or become? Give yourself the time for a thoughtful assessment of where you, where you want to be and what kind of knowledge you want to possess. You see, the students who can clearly explain their reasons for wanting to attend college are the ones who are most likely to achieve their goal.

3) Let it out!
Say what you want. Out loud.
If you intend to be successful, you must be intentional in your desire for that success. Don’t hold back. Define what you want and say it out loud.  Say it first to yourself, and then begin discussing it with others you enjoy and trust sharing with.

4) Plan your path.
Dive into learning all you can about what expanding your education, returning to school, taking classes would look like for you and your life. For instance, is it wiser for you to go to school part-time or full-time? Do you have family responsibilities and need to think about how to fit classes around schedules other than your own? Do you currently have a time-demanding job you will keep while you are in school? Or, are you retired with time available to take full-time classes toward a second career or new educational path? Is your employer willing to make concessions in your hours for you to acquire the latest knowledge to better complement your current strengths so you and the company can be more successful? Know and trust that, whether you attend part-time or full-time, formal or alternative classes, if you plan a path to your goal you will keep your eye on the horizon and all its exhilarating possibilities, even if it takes you a little bit longer to get there.

5) Know the ropes.
You need to do some fact-finding. What financial aid is available? How much do books, tuition and materials cost? What is the length of the program of study? Can you attend through distance learning on your computer? Does the school  offer the opportunity for your life or career experience to count toward credits or units? Yes, it is true. Some schools and programs accept experiential equivalents in place of course work. Ask. The worst they can say is “no” and the best they can say is “yes”, saving you money and time.

6) Share the love.
This is a new, promising, inspiring, stimulating and fun adventure for you. Bring the people you love, trust and care about, those who are supportive of you, into the fold as early as possible. Their positive energy will add to your excitement and enjoyment. And share your successes with them as you move toward your goal!

7) Go for it!!!!
Select your school or program and apply or register for admission. Fill out the applications for financial aid.

Now, get ready to embark on your thrilling new path!!

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Photo Credit:  Luvzdollz @ Flickr