Do you ever look back and really wished you'd done something when you were younger? Having regrets about things that you feel that you've missed out on in the past are quite common. How you reconcile these feelings will depend on your outlook, and what the regrets are.
A common regret is to do with continuing in education, either to degree or postgraduate level. In life, circumstances get in the way of doing some of the things that we would like to do. Often, we tend to put things on the back burner, hoping to one day get the opportunity.
As life goes on, circumstances change, but so do our priorities. Having a career or a family might mean you'll think you can't do it because of the commitment of your time. The cost of study can be prohibitive. Things such as buying a house, running the car, or having small children growing up might put pressure on the finances that you need to meet.
But there are ways that you can study later in life, without causing too much disruption to your lifestyle.
You Have Plenty Of Options
There have never been so many paths you can take into higher education. You can choose from such a wide range of subject matter, and you can find a mode of study that suits your lifestyle. There is a lot of competition in universities, and most understand that to attract more students. To do this, they need to offer a variety of modes of study; from part-time online and distance learning to full-time taught.
Organisations such as Rutgers online offer flexible course options that you can take. You will have opportunities to submit your work via the internet, pick the times that you do your work, and build your studies around your current lifestyle and commitments. You returning to full-time education might be daunting. However, if you have the time and can go, you might find the whole university experience to be beneficial to your education. You will get to work with others in a similar situation and create bonds with them. There are many groups and societies you can join within the university that can benefit you in so many ways. Some may be related to your area of study, while others might be for fun, or about building up your skills in other areas.
Taking a course of higher education can help you build confidence. While you might have been out of education for some time, you may worry that you don't have the experience or the skills to study. However, courses are usually designed with this in mind. The workload will build-up, allowing you to develop your skills and confidence levels as you progress through the course.
The confidence you gain can be useful in many aspects of your life, from work and career through to personal relationships. Undertaking a course of higher education is a significant achievement that can give you a sense of pride and self-worth.
Improve Your Career Prospects
Having studied to a higher level is a sign to potential employers that you have many great qualities that make you worth hiring. It shows that you are capable of understanding complex concepts at a high level. Degrees give you the experience of solving problems or analysing information and creating a plan based on the information. You will be showing that you can work well, self-directed. Degrees can take a few years to complete, so do involve a level of commitment and determination.
The other significant advantage of having a degree is the knowledge and experience that it gives you within a particular field, and for many career routes, having a degree is essential.
Raise Your Earning Potential
If you're looking at working in an area where a degree in a particular subject gives you the edge, use this to your advantage and go for higher pay. The knowledge and experience you will gain from your degree or masters will be of great benefit to any company you work for. If they value that experience, they should reward this with a better salary.
Study For Pleasure
You might not have had the opportunity to go to university when you left school. Or, you might have been happy to turn your back on education after having an unpleasant learning experience during your childhood. But often, as life progresses, people find pleasure in learning. During your formative years, you may have found it difficult to choose interests that you'd like to pursue with passion. However, later in life, you'll find curiosities awakening.
Many people study for pleasure. It can be enjoyable to learn more about the subject matter that you really like.
Good For Your Mental Well-being
Regrets can cause us to get down about ourselves. And that thing that you've been putting off doing for years is probably causing you quite a bit of mental anguish, whether you realize it or not.
If you've put off progressing your education for years, then for your own sake, you should find a way to stop holding yourself back. Allow yourself the opportunity to discover who you can be and what your potential is.
When we feel like we should have done something, it can cause us to believe that we are failures. This sense can carry over into other areas of our lives.
Returning to education allows you to feel as though you are doing something to obtain your goals.
You'll be happier for getting out there and studying, and your regrets will subside and then stop being a burden to you.
There are no reasons to put off taking the time to study. Your future health and happiness can be significantly enhanced, as too can your sense of confidence and self-esteem.
There is plenty of support out there, both financial and academic, and there are lots of options available to suit your lifestyle. It's time to go out and get some letters after your name.