Returning to education can be scary, whether it’s been a few years since you left school or 30. There’s a perception that college is for teenagers, however this is not the case. 56.5% of students who started in August were over the age of 20, with 20-34 year olds our biggest group. College is definitely for everyone. Here is some advice for those thinking of applying to college.
It’s okay to be nervous
Carla Ford, the President of the Students Association (ECSA) came back to College as an adult. “I came back to education when I was 30 and I spent two years studying before I was elected president of ECSA. I was really nervous about going back to education as I hadn’t studied since I left school. As an adult returner, the support in the college was great, my lecturers really helped with boosting my confidence and I found that a lot of others in my class were also returning to education.”
Guidance staff and LDTs have drop-ins every week where students are advised to meet them to discuss any issues they are having at college. Keep an eye out on social media and posters around the college for details on these.
Learn how to study again
Going back to college and having to do homework and revision can seem daunting, but there are resources here to help. There is a library at each campus, and outside of library opening hours there are computers you can access. Guidance staff and LDTs can also help you with study skills if you are struggling. Carla says that it’s important to balance studying and home: “I learnt a lot about myself such as the learning style that worked for me, which really helped me with assessments & revision. The best tip I can give is plan out your time, time for studying, and also time for yourself.”
Balance home and college
Many of our students have responsibilities at home, and we understand that managing your studies on top of that can be challenging. Carla has three kids and says “I had to juggle family life with 3 young children to look after alongside my studies, so it was a bit of a learning curve.” However since starting her time as ECSA president, Carla has been working on making campuses more family-friendly. “Along with the College Senior Management Team, we are developing new policies to help support student parents to make the most out of their time at College. It seems obvious, but it is worth saying that your children are allowed on campus and we’re developing more family-friendly services – parenting rooms are available on each campus and there are high chairs in the canteens that are available for use.”
Some students, depending on terms and conditions, can apply for funding to pay for childcare costs. Visit the Guidelines for Students page.
Clubs and societies
ECSA support the running of many different clubs and societies across the College, including a range of different sports. These activities tend to take place during the day when there are more students around, but those of you who study in the evening are more than welcome to join as a way to meet other students and be more involved in student life.