Returning to study (after a break)

Returning to study can be a big decision but CSU is here to help.

So you’ve decided to return to study. Go you! While it must feel great to know you’ve made a big decision that will lead to the future you hope for, it can also be a little daunting if it’s been a while since you last whipped out the textbooks.

Follow these handy tips to get back into a learning mindset.

Have a vision of ‘future you’

Your dream career and life could be just around the corner. What’s sparked your decision to ‘go back to school’? Perhaps your sights are set on formalising your skills and knowledge with a recognised qualification, or maybe you want to upgrade your qualifications, or even change career paths. Whatever your reason for returning to study, keep your original motivation as a constant reminder for why you’re choosing to study. Having a clear vision of the end goal – your future career – will be your motivation to achieve.

Set SMART goals (and reward yourself!)

One of the best ways to get back into study is to set yourself some good old-fashioned SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound goals will be your new best friend when you become a uni student.

SMART goals break down your goals into achievable steps. They can provide the clarity, focus and motivation you need to make your goals happen. For example, if you’re a volunteer but would like to take your experience to a professional level, set a SMART goal to achieve paid employment in the industry. You could set out to do this by studying a university degree and giving yourself a timeframe of the next four years. Once you start kicking goals and ticking off your tasks, be sure to treat yourself for your hard work with a reward.

Create a study space

Celebrate your decision to get back into study by creating the perfect study environment where you’ll be able to give 110 per cent to your studies and get those creative ideas flowing. The location should have natural light and fresh air, and be a comfortable, organised space where you’ll dedicate many hours to writing essays, reading textbooks, engaging in interactive learning and watching lectures. Make sure your study space is free from distraction, gives you access to all the learning materials you’ll need and has a nutritious selection of study snacks on hand as well as plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Choose flexible study

If it’s been a while since you’ve last studied or you wear a few more hats now than you did when you were in high school, it’s a good idea to give yourself some flexibility in your study schedule. Creating a study timetable around your work and personal commitments will help you to decide when your designated study sessions will be.

At CSU, our courses are designed with flexibility in mind and accommodate even the busiest of individuals. Our students include busy parents, working professionals and even globetrotters studying abroad. It’s through flexibility and support that our students and alumni are making ripples in the ocean and making this a world worth living in. Studying at your own pace and from almost anywhere in the world gives you greater freedom to make study work for you. You could also brush up on your skills or test your study techniques with a Study Link subject before you start your course.

Connect with other learners

When studying with CSU, we’re all in this together. You’ll not only gain the support of our friendly CSU staff but also our welcoming student community. Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds, with many jumping back into study (just like you) after spending time working in industry or having time off to pursue other ventures.

There are plenty of opportunities for you to connect with students in our online forums, across our social media networks, at residential schools, at on-campus events and through our Facebook group especially for CSU students, CSU Social.

If you need help connecting with other students or any other kind of assistance with your uni study, we also offer an extensive variety of support services and clubs and societies to keep you connected to our community.

As an enrolled CSU student, you can also access via the student portal. Open to all CSU students, the mentoring program is run by experienced students who can offer tips on how to balance study and life. There are options to receive weekly emails from a CSU student mentor or you may be able to join a course-specific Facebook mentor group. There are nearly 30 such Facebook groups and the list is set to grow this year.

Ready to jump back in?

If you’re ready to take the next step and see how CSU can help you reach your dream career, get in touch. We have staff on hand who are ready to take your call or connect with you in any way you choose. Grab a coffee, pull up a chair and get set to explore your study options with us today.