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Returning to study after a break | Hamza's blog

Hi, I'm Hamza. I chose to take a gap from education before enrolling in university. In this blog I'll tell you why I chose to come back to education and the pros and cons I encountered along the way.

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Life is a journey filled with twists, turns, and unexpected deviations. For many, this journey includes a break from formal education after completing college or sixth form. The decision to return to university after a break is not only courageous but surprisingly common as most undergraduate students are classified as adult learners.

Selecting the lesser-taken path
After completing my initial academic journey, I found myself standing at a crossroads. Life outside the boundaries of formal education arose, and I decided to explore different avenues. I sought a chance to discover my passions. It was during this break that I encountered challenges, victories, and moments of self-discovery that ultimately fuelled my decision to return to the world of books and lectures.

The reasons behind the gap
Taking a break from education is a personal choice, influenced by various factors. Some may take time off to gain work experience, travel, or simply take a breather. In my case, the break was a conscious pause to gain clarity on my academic and career goals in business and management. It allowed me to reflect on the specific areas within these fields that I am passionate about, reassess my priorities, and ensure that the next academic endeavour aligned with my aspirations.

Pros and cons of academic leave
Returning to study after a break comes with its share of advantages and challenges.

Pros:
Clearer goals
The break grants the space needed to attain a clearer grasp of personal and professional goals. This deliberate pause ensures that the return to university is not just a resumption but a purposeful and intentional pursuit. You're not joining the academic race just for the sake of it. No! You're stepping back into those lecture halls with a clear vision, a considered plan, and a catalyst of intention that sets you apart.

Diverse perspectives
Adult learners, with their diverse life experiences, bring a unique richness to the classroom. Their varied perspectives contribute significantly to creating a more vibrant and dynamic learning environment. You're not just a student, you're a storyteller, a game-changer, and a key player in creating that vibrant, dynamic atmosphere.

Cons:
Adjustment period
Coming back to the academic setting might need a bit of an adjustment period. The rhythm of learning and studying may feel unfamiliar initially, requiring some time to get back into the groove.

Technology gap
Depending on the length of the break there might be a learning curve in adapting to new technologies and educational tools. But don't worry, it's all part of the adventure!

When I returned to university after my break, I found myself facing this learning curve firsthand. I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed by the new digital tools and platforms that had become integral to the learning experience since I was last in college. It took some time to adjust, but with a bit of patience and persistence, I soon got the hang of it.

Navigating the return: Hamza's tips for success

Set realistic goals
Define your academic and personal goals clearly to stay focused and motivated. What are your dreams and aspirations? What subjects or areas of study are you passionate about? Write them down, make them concrete. When you have a clear picture of what you're working towards, it becomes so much easier to stay focused and motivated, even when things get tough. Remember, it's okay if your goals evolve and change over time. The important thing is to keep them in sight and keep working towards them, one step at a time.

Build a support system
Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, and fellow students. You're diving back into the world of lectures and assignments, and there are moments when it feels like a bit much. That's when your support squad becomes your sustenance. You might have friends who've got your back during late-night study sessions or family members cheering you on from the sidelines. Having these individuals around can turn challenging times into manageable ones.

Embrace change
Be open to adapting to new technologies, study methods, and the evolving educational landscape.

Returning to study after a break is a unique and transformative adventure. It's a testament to resilience, growth, and the pursuit of knowledge. As adult learners, we bring a treasure trove of experiences that not only enrich our academic endeavours but also contribute to the entire university community. So, if you're considering this path, know that you're not alone, and the journey ahead promises to be as rewarding as it is challenging. Don't worry, you’ve got this!

Did you return to study after a break? What are your top tips? :smile:

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