June 4, 2024

Returning to college? Here are five tips to make your journey successful

4 min read

Back to blog

Returning to college? Here are five tips to make your journey successful 

If you’re returning to college after a break, you might be feeling any number of emotions – excitement, nervousness or even fear. 

We know that the decision to come back to school is a huge one. Chances are that you’re juggling other responsibilities, which means that your college experience may look different than that of a traditional student. 

Fortunately, you aren’t alone. 

We want to help you succeed so that you can emerge from your college experience stronger and more well-rounded. The choice to come back to school is likely something you wrestled with. Balancing work, family and personal responsibilities in conjunction with classwork and class projects can be tricky, but there are tools you can use and skills you can develop to have the most successful experience possible. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

1. Don’t compare yourself. 

We all know how easy it can be to make comparisons. We compare fruit at the grocery store to find the freshest pieces. We sort our favorite shows by how much we like them. We may even compare movies to books and argue over which one is better. Comparison is normal. 

When it comes to your university experience, however, it’s important that you avoid comparing yourself to anyone. You’re a unique individual with your own life experiences, which means that your academic journey may look different than someone else’s. That’s OK! We have resources in place to help support you and guide you, regardless of what your academic plan might be. 

Most importantly, understand that you won’t be alone. 

K-State Olathe features a variety of bachelor’s degree completion, graduate and certificate programs. This means that your classmates will be nontraditional students who have shared experiences and similar goals. This also means that your professors and student success coaches understand that you have a busy life, so they’ll provide flexibility and work to support you regardless of your lifestyle. 

2. Seek out scholarships and financial aid opportunities. 

Financial concerns are one of the biggest worries that many university students face, but at K-State Olathe, you don’t have to let the cost of pursuing your education overwhelm you. Our campus offers a variety of scholarships for our students, including many that are degree specific. 

Here are just a few of the scholarships you may qualify for: 

  • Johnson County Education Research Triangle Scholarship 
  • Clay Blair Family Scholarship Award 
  • Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship 
  • Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association Scholarship 

Review your scholarship and financial aid options on our website or contact our student support services team. They’ll be able to talk with you about your options and help you find the resources you need to be successful. Remember that the deadline for fall scholarships is July 1, so be sure to apply early for the best results. 

3. Plan how you’ll spend your time. 

Time management is especially important when you’re a nontraditional student who is juggling responsibilities outside of school. Whether you have a career, hobbies, volunteer activities or a family, it’s important to plan how you’ll manage your time to ensure you’re able to meet deadlines and do well in your classes. 

There are many resources available that can help you to be successful when it comes to managing your time, including Google Calendar and Harvard Summer School’s list of time management tips. Of course, you also can reach out to your professors or one of our student success coaches at any time for additional support and guidance. 

4. Get support 

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, it should be one of your first steps when you decide to return to school after a break. Whether you’re feeling ready for anything or you’re nervous about returning to school, we want to help provide you with the support you need to be successful throughout your academic journey. 

Our student support team can help you find local and campus resources to support you during your journey. We offer a mentorship program, as well as additional resources to ensure you’re able to manage your stress and get the support you need throughout your college experience. 

5. Focus on the journey and not the result. 

There’s no race to complete your degree. As you move forward on your academic journey, your primary goal should be to harness opportunities for personal growth and to learn as much as you can during your time on campus. When you choose to complete your bachelor’s degree or pursue a graduate certificate or degree, it’s important that you take time to enjoy the process of learning as you move forward. 

Whether you’re a K-State alum or you’re new to the wildcat family, we’re happy that you’re here, and at K-State Olathe, it’s never too late to learn something new. We’d love the chance to talk with you more about our academic programs and offerings, so make sure you reach out to our student services team to learn more. 

105 - Blog CTA

Connect with us

Ready to get started at K-State Olathe? Let's talk! Our student services team would love the chance to chat with you about our programs, scholarship opportunities and how you can have a successful transition to our campus.

©️️ Kansas State University Olathe