Prepping for school when you're an adult is totally different than when you're 18 and heading to college for the first time. For starters, you're more grown up, so school isn't the only thing on your mind. There are bills to pay, things to clean, people to see, wine to drink. Life is already happening around you. When you're just starting college, however, that's a part of your life beginning. It's the start of something, whereas going back to school as an adult is more often than not a continuation of something, even if it's your first time at school (in which case you've likely been working while growing up, so school becomes an add-on to work).
It doesn't mean going back to school isn't exciting — it just means that as an adult you're obviously at a different point in your life, and schooling is an entirely different experience. That means that the way you prep is different, because your approach, your attitude, and most importantly, YOU are different. If you're going back to school as a proper adult person and the experience of getting ready feels foreign, or isn't how it felt the first time you did it, don't worry: it should be different. And the experience of actually being at school will be entirely different too. Here's how prepping for school is different in adulthood:
1. You Don't Have The Anxiety Of Not Knowing What To Expect
When you go to school as an adult, you kind of know what to expect. If you've been before, you're old hat, so all that anxiety you had when you were a teenager about what will happen when you're there is washed away. And even if you haven't been to school before, life, by now, has probably thrown you enough curve balls that the unknown doesn't faze you quite so much.
2. You Don't Rush To Buy All The Recommended Materials
Unlike an eager teen, you're not rushing out to buy every book that's recommended. You know most of your materials will be available online, and sometimes buying a $200 just for one chapter isn't necessary when you can just sit and read it at the library. With adult experience, so too comes a propensity for thriftiness and a knowledge that school is a commercial industry too.
3. You're Not There To Make Friends
Social anxiety is a big part of school when you're a teenager, but chances are if you're an adult you've already got friends, so making new friends isn't such a big deal. Of course, you'll be friends with people if you meet people in your course that you like, but it's no big deal if you don't. Your prepping will probably not involve day dreaming about your new school squad the way it might have when you were younger.
4. You're Not Starting It Off With Party After Party
Extending on the point of adult schooling being about, well, going to school rather than socializing, you're probably not going to be prepping with a giant hangover. When you're a teen starting school there's normally orientation week, which means parties and late nights, drinking or not drinking (which in Australia where I'm from and the drinking age is 18 means that university starts with a giant bender). As an adult, you'll probably drink, but the binge drinking/staying out 'til 4 A.M. stuff is probably far behind you.
5. You Do Your Research
When you're a teenager you do a lot blindly, or at least get into school situations where you should have done your research beforehand (like where certain buildings are on campus) but didn't think about the minutiae of school life and wound up winging it by accident. When you're an adult, hopefully, your organizational skills are better honed, and you prepare yourself better when it comes to forms you need to fill out, lectures you need to attend, and general deadlines.
6. You're Not Panicked
When you're a teenager heading for school everything seems very big and scary and a lot of things get rushed in at the last minute. The sense of panic you have isn't as omnipresent as an adult, and you'll be more likely to take things in your stride, and move more slowly but purposefully as you're prepping for what lies ahead.