Basic talents needed to go back to college

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Making the decision to go back to college after a period of time out of education can be very difficult. Many fear that they don’t have the mental agility to return to studying. Others worry about the financial aspect. However, provided that you have the following basic ‘talents’, there is absolutely no reason that you should not go back to college.

Lateral thinking

The ability to think outside the box, which many more mature students have because of their experience in the outside world, is a very important talent. College is not just about book learning, it is about using what you learn and applying it. This is something that many younger students, who have gone to college straight from school, simply do not have.


This may seem like an odd thing to list as a talent, but it is nevertheless an incredibly important aspect. If you are determined to do well, then the chances are that you will do well, because you will be able to see the main goal ahead of you. And having made the decision to go back to college, the chances are you did so because you are determined to better yourself.


Being able to study well involves a high level of concentration. You need to be able to sit through a lecture, take notes, study from books and then apply what you learn to essays and other assignments. Again, concentration can be something that develops with age, so you may well find that you are able to buckle down and work harder than your younger classmates.

Organisational skills

The ability to organise your life so that you have plenty of time for study and for rest is a necessary talent for going back to college. After time in the workplace, you may be accustomed to having your work hours decided for you. Now you will need to organise your own time and will need to prioritize your work so that it all gets done.

The willingness to open your mind

Studying can open your mind to things that you previously wouldn’t even have thought of. In addition, you will be meeting people from all walks of life, cultures and religions. If you are narrow-minded and choose to back away from these new opportunities, then you will not get the best out of college. This is one area where younger students may have an advantage.

The ability to ask for help

There will be plenty of things that you don’t understand – from studying techniques to making your money stretch. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There will be plenty available, but if you don’t ask, you won’t get it. Being slightly older, you should have that little bit more confidence, so asking for help shouldn’t be an issue. Ensure that it isn’t.

It is never too late to go back to college, even if you think it is, and it could just be the best thing you have ever done. Just remember that your maturity has a number of advantages, so don’t be put off by the fact that you are likely to be older than your classmates.


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